Parker Lee Eaton - picture used by permission of mother

Parker Lee Eaton - picture used by permission of mother

 

Parker's Story

As told by his mother, Jessica. 

"When we awoke on Saturday, June 29, 2013 it was a normal morning. We had a lot planned for the next two days so we were taking things easy just doing some laundry and watching Harry Potter. I had seen on the news earlier that morning that Mesa was having a “Back to History” festival with fireworks and fun activities that was all about America. I was very excited to take Parker and his sister to this great event to learn and have fun. We also had gotten front row tickets to the Barnum and Bailey Circus for Sunday. It was going to be Parker's first time to a circus so I wanted him to get it the most of it. In the process of our morning routine we had landscapers over doing some work to our yard and pool area. They had been at our house a couple of times before doing work with us so it just seemed like an ordinary workday for them.

As the morning continued I put Parker down for his nap so he would not be tired that afternoon. The landscapers were still working so I had no reason to worry, or so I thought. I went to the bathroom thinking Parker was in bed sleeping. His sister was in her room playing so I thought my children were safe. When I came out of the bathroom Parker's bedroom door was open so I thought, “Ok, he's awake. Great, now we can get ready to head to the fun.” As I walk into the main part of the house the back door is open so again I think, “Alright, he has figured out how to unlock the door but he is just playing with his sand toys because he loved it the sand.” I go outside and start calling for him and see that the pool gate is open and the water is moving. I immediately run over to the pool thinking to myself, “No way, he's not in there, he can't be.” Then I see my beautiful baby boy lying lifeless at the bottom of the pool. I had to blink again because I thought my mind was playing tricks on me. I jumped in and got him from the bottom of the pool and ran into the house with him. I pressed the panic button on my alarm and began doing CPR on him and had my eight-year-old call 911 so I could do CPR. I then continued to breathe for him and ran him out to the side of the road so that if someone drove by they could help until paramedics arrived. When the paramedics arrived they took Parker away in the ambulance. I didn't get to ride with my baby, I was so scared. When we arrived at the hospital they told me he was alive and I fell to the floor thanking the Lord that he was still here but the next five days would be the biggest fight for his life. On July 1, 2013 we received the worst news a family could get. Parker was considered brain-dead and he would never wake up again. In our moment of despair we decided that we would donate Parker so that he could save other people’s lives, and on July 3, 2013 Parker did just that. He saved two babies and a woman right here in Arizona.

From that time on I knew my calling: I wanted to make people aware that drownings can happen to anyone. We thought we had done everything right from alarms on the door to a fence around the pool.

During this time I had found out about the Drowning Prevention Coalition and begin reaching out to them. We also had begun the process of building the Barbara Parker Foundation in hopes that Parker’s story would reach out to people and help save more children's lives. And that their families will not have to endure the pain and grieving my family continues to feel.

Parker will live on with his calling to bring awareness to all families about the risks and prevention of drowning."

 
 

Learn more about the Barbara Parker Foundation here.