This is the story of a mighty little girl who we’ve never met, but who continues to touch our hearts. At just two years old, her story helped shape our journey and passion for water safety and a big reason our babies were enrolled in swim lessons. We talk about the importance of swim lessons for kids and the beautiful gift The Houston Swim Club has given us, teaching all four of our babies to float, to swim. And if you’ve been around since the beginning of our journey, then you know sweet Naomi’s story is what woke us up to statistics and reality that drowning accidents can happen to anyone, at anytime. It hits especially hard when it happens to a family in your community.
We had the pleasure of sitting with Naomi’s beautiful, brave, strong mama earlier this year, Jessica Mollon. We sat in an empty coffee shop in Fulshear, sipping our warm caffeinated drinks, shedding some smiles and some tears, and sharing a bond only moms can understand…the undeniable, unbreakable love we have for our kids. Curled up on that coffee house sofa, Jessica felt like a life long friend, as she so openly shared her heart, her story, her grief. Her venerability, her heart are what we remember most, and what a great mom she is. How much she loves her babies. Sitting with her for just a few minutes, we could feel her warmth. We could also feel her pain. And as she shared Naomi’s story, we wished we could take that pain from her.
It’s anyone’s worst fear: losing a child. Through this community, we’ve gotten to meet mamas who’ve experienced this kind of loss. There’s a common drive in these mamas, something that keeps each of them going. It seems that along with God and their loved ones, what also keeps them moving forward is ensuring their babies lives, no matter how short, are remembered and that their memory is kept alive. Knowing that their child will be remembered, thought about brings comfort.
We’ve admired the strength of these mothers and marveled at the fact that these children can touch people’s lives how they do and that they can truly make a difference. That’s exactly what little Naomi continues to do for so many – make a difference. Naomi’s Grace, is the foundation started by Jessica and her family. Jessica is a mom on a mission. Her daughter in every thread of that mission. And with the launch of their brand new website this week and with the blessing of Naomi’s mom, we felt like now was the right time to share a bit of her story here with you.
Naomi Grace was a gorgeous, spirited, spunky, little girl and from the time she entered this world on November 28, 2016 she was always keeping her family on their toes. Her mom says she was loud, determined, sassy, and brought an undeniable light to everyone she met. Jessica still remembers Naomi’s love of her pacifier, how she always wanted two…one in her mouth and one in her hand. She can still remember exactly how Naomi asked for those two pacifiers, “mommy, two, just two mommy.” She was a little girl who knew exactly what she wanted. And boy, was she loved.
Memorial Day 2019, started out like any normal day. The family was excited to spend some time at a family member’s house, a house with a pool. Naomi picked out a new puddle jumper that day, a pink one. And she spent all day jumping into that pool, splashing and playing her with friends.It was an evening with food, family, and friends.
As the day was winding down, everyone out of the pool, and families preparing to leave for the evening, Naomi slipped away from the adults and snuck into a hot-tub, mere feet from where her family stood. Maybe 30 seconds to a minute Jessica said her eyes were off Naomi and she began to frantically look for her.
Naomi was found in the hot tub and taken to a nearby hospital, but ultimately passed away a few days later after multiple failed brain scans. Her little brain had been without oxygen for too long.
Through the long, heartbreaking process of declaration, Naomi’s parents made the selfless decision to donate their sweet daughter’s organs. That little 2-year-old girl went on to be a hero to four families. Four families.
Through immense heartbreak there was heroism and Jessica and her husband Jared made it their mission to create a non-profit in their daughter’s name. Naomi’s Grace is the foundation set up to raise awareness about pediatric organ donation while being able to provide support to the families facing this selfless decision and also raising awareness about the importance of water safety and drowning prevention.
Jessica, like us, just wants moms to know it can happen to anyone. Drowning is so quick and it is so silent. Relying on a puddle jumper, not realizing that most drowning accidents happen during non swim times, that seconds is all it takes…all things we didn’t know a year ago. Jessica too said she didn’t know all the facts, but she does now. And she wants to shout them from the rooftops, so no mother, no family has to experience the pain she lives with each day. Jessica talks openly and often about swim lessons, the right kind of swim lessons for kids. Naomi’s baby sister, only 4 months old when the tragedy took place, is now able to float in water, thanks to local swim school Texas Swim Academy.
Naomi’s memory lives on – in so many who knew her and even in those who learned of her story. She lives on in those four lives she saved through organ donation. She lives on in each parent who decides swim lessons are a must, a life-saving must for their child. She continues to touch lives. That little girl will continue to move mountains.
Jessica says she feels her daughter often, those special Naomi winks…undeniable proof that her daughter is with her, has a hand in her life here on earth, until that sweet day they meet again.
We feel so blessed to continue to say her name, Naomi Grace. You, little one, are doing such big, beautiful things.