Grieving Mother Shares Heartfelt Reminder to Parents After Daughter Drowns on Mother's Day


Grieving mother Tori Welch wants others to be mindful that as the heat of summer approaches and it becomes all the more common to spend time enjoying the pool, tragedy can strike unexpectedly.

Many parents invest in swimming lessons for their young children. I remember being about 6 years old when a swim instructor came over to teach my cousin and me how to swim.

Yet even with these lessons, tragedies can occur.

Young children love to be active and simply want to do what they want to do, not always understanding the potential harm in doing so.

For mother Tori Welch, she faced this scenario on Mother’s Day in 2017.

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At a family party, Welch turned her back for one second. When she turned back, her 4-year-old daughter, Shaelynn, was nowhere to be found.

“We had multiple kids in the pool that day, multiple family members. The adults were in the pool, they had life vests on, my kids always have their life vest on,” Welch stated. “So they were very good life jacket kids, and I let my guard down. Hers was taken off of her, and I did not know that it was, and she slipped back into the pool when I wasn’t watching.”

Welch searched the house, the bathroom and then finally the water of the pool. To her dismay, she found that her little girl had drowned in her absence.

Since it has been only a year, Welch is still very much grieving the loss of her daughter, whom she had adopted through foster care.

But instead of becoming angry or resigned in her hardship, Tori Welch has decided to make sure no other mothers have to live through the same thing. Welch decided to volunteer with “Lifeguard Your Child,” a program that educates parents on pool safety for kids.

“It’s been so horrible, that I want something to come out of this. I don’t want another mama to have to bury a child like this,” Welch said.

“Her drowning could have been prevented, should have been prevented and so, if more parents can be educated on watching their child like a lifeguard would, then we can prevent more drownings,” she added.

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Welch has affirmed that while swimming lessons and life jackets are great resources, nothing is better prevention than sitting in close quarters to your children by the pool yourself. Keeping a vigilant eye is the best way to keep your kids safe.

She also affirms that children are not the only ones who face the risk of drowning.

“Just the other day I heard a story of a professional swimmer, a teenager, swam competitively, drowned at the bottom of their pool while they were at practicing,” she said. “Even swimmers can drown. Even lifeguards can have a problem and drown.

“You have to watch them all, and if there’s an adult next to you in the water struggling, just be vigilant to that,” she concluded.

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Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a major in English, minors in both Writing and Communication Studies, and a Technical Writing concentration. She is currently working on designing and writing a book of poetry to financially support a new homeless ministry of Grove City, PA called Beloved Mercy Ministry. In her spare time, she loves to sing, play piano, exercise, traverse cities, and find the cutest coffee shops. She also has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Philadelphia, PA
Scholarship of Academic Achievement and Moral Character
Grove City College
Grove City, PA
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Visual Design, Document Design, Technical Communication, Literature, Computer Ethics


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