By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As Minnesotans get ready for warmer temperatures, many are getting ready for pool season. But for one family, this time of year brings heartache and renewed commitment to a mission.

In 2007, 6-year-old Abbey Taylor was disemboweled after sitting on a faulty drain in a kids’ pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club. She died after receiving a triple organ transplant.

This week, she would’ve turned 10.

Family members remember Abbey as a talented swimmer with a giant smile. Scott Taylor said Abbey’s birthday is always hard.

“It was very, very difficult. We rallied together as a family yesterday,” he said. “You see the girls that were her friends growing up and you wonder what it would be like.”

Abigail’s family channeled their grief into the Abbey’s Hope Foundation, which promotes pool and pool drain safety.

“What we are trying to convey to parents is that they need to be vigilant,” said Taylor.

Children are often drawn to the suction in pool drains, which can hold them under water or in Abbey’s case suck out their internal organs.

After her death, the Taylor family worked to pass both a federal and state law that requires tougher standards for pool and hot tub drains. But the law only applies to public pools, and communities don’t have enough pool inspectors to ensure enforcement.

This winter the foundation organized a bowling event to donate bathing suits to inner-city kids, 2,600 of whom took part in a water safety program sponsored in part by Abbey’s Foundation.

“To see the smiles on some of these kids, it’s just amazing,” Scott Taylor said, adding that the pain does not fade, but there is comfort knowing that Abbey is saving lives. “That is the best legacy we could have for Abbey that people are still talking about her and her story and how dangerous these drains can be.”

Accidental drowning and water accidents are the second leading cause of death in children under the age of 14.

Comments (10)
  1. djp says:

    Instead of always blaming someone or something else…where are the parents when their kids are playing?? I am sorry a child had to die, but parents need to take time to watch their own kids! You have them, now take care of them!

    1. bbp says:

      The parents may have been right there. This may have only taken seconds to happen. Just because Abbey was injured doesn’t mean her parents were being neglectful. I remember putting my hand on the drain of our community pool when I was a youngster. We did this as a game to see how fast our hands or feet would get sucked towards the drain. Thank goodness no one was hurt in our case.

    2. Ashley L says:

      your an idiot djp people can watch there kids but who would expect there kids insides to get sucked out from a pool drain you moron! it has nothing to do with “WATCHING” them.its the fault of the pool.i could sit there and stare at my child playing in a pool or sitting in a pool and in 2 seconds something could happen.get real.your comment was meaningless and stupid.

    3. SLN says:

      I hope your guts get sucked out your anus one day, then we can blame you anonymously on a message board…

  2. water says:

    Shouldn’t have been swimming without a lifeguard! Now everybody has to pay even ones without kids.

    1. K. says:

      If I remember right, the important part of this story may be missing. I believe that the drain in this pool had a faulty cover on (or it was missing entirely) in which case, the pool owners were at fault for not repairing it.

      1. Ashley L says:

        it clearly says it was a faulty pool drain..some people these days i cant believe it…has nothing to do with WATCHING your child.stuff happens and in this case it was the pools fault and this poor lil girl lost her life because of it!

    2. Sue says:

      Wow you guys are really insensitive. This only took seconds to happen, it does not mean the parents were not watching her. I don’t know about the rest of you but I don’t rely on teenage lifeguards who get paid minimum wage to watch my kids at the pool. Not to mention, hardly any pools or beaches have life guards on duty any more. I don’t blame the golf club either, this was a freak accident, that unfortunatly needed to happen to bring awareness to the problem. I also remember putting my feet on the drains and feeling the suction. Don’t be so quick to blame the parents.

  3. Ashley L says:

    im not the insensitive one.. DJP above is the insenstive one

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