A 4-year-old boy drowned during a swim lesson. Now, his family wants answers

A Georgia family is seeking answers after a 4-year-old kid died during a swim lesson.

As per his parents, Dori and Walt Scott, Israel “Izzy” Scott was an energetic child who enjoyed the Black Panther superhero, dinosaurs, and playing with his brothers, ages 11, 3, and 16.

Izzy was both delighted and worried about his first swim lesson. Dori, his mother, said they went with a recognised instructor called Lexie TenHuisen, the owner of “Swim With Lexie,” who trained his older sister two years ago.

Dori Scott said she took her son to his first session, a group class at a pool near their home in Hephzibah, Georgia, on June 13.

When Dori arrived, she was told that parents couldn’t remain to see the class because it would distract the kids.

Dori Scoot explained that she understood since she is a hair stylist and knows that kids can behave differently when their parents are there. But she didn’t want to abandon her child. Nonetheless, she sat in the car till the session was over.

As per a Burke County Sheriff’s Office report, Dori Scott stated that while Izzy enjoyed his session, he was hesitant to join the second class on June 14.

“What if I drown?” Izzy inquired, and his mother subsequently informed sheriff’s deputies that this would not occur.

However, Dori Scott said that while she waited in her car during the second swim session, a parent furiously pounded on her window. Dori stated that the parent She told he said, ‘Come check on your baby.’ She lost it right away as she saw it in her eyes.

She stepped through the gate and spotted Izzy lying lifeless near the pool. A parent was performing CPR on him, but he was lifeless.

Doris asked what happened? and (Lexie) answered, ‘I don’t know,’ Dori Scott explained. It seemed like a nightmare… like a mother’s darkest nightmare.

When cops and first responders came, they took over life-saving procedures, sending Izzy to Burke Medical Center in Waynesboro and then to Children’s Medical Center in Augusta. Izzy was certified deceased on June 15 as a consequence of “accidental drowning.”

According to the sheriff’s report, there were roughly nine other kids in the session, ranging in age from four to ten. According to a press statement from the sheriff’s department, Izzy slipped into the deep end of the pool unnoticed near the end of the class. According to the sheriff’s report, TenHuisen’s granddaughter observed him there and told the teacher, who was drying off on the deck.

According to the sheriff’s investigation, TenHuisen, who has 49 years of teaching swimming expertise, leapt into the water to save Izzy. According to the official report, she and another parent, a trained nurse who was waiting for her child’s swim class to begin, began CPR until aid came.

They don’t have a solid story of what happened, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the Scott family, stated. 

Merritt said they are in the “fact-finding stage” and will “make a determination for the family” in Izzy’s death, but the family has not filed a lawsuit.

The family claims they have not received an answer from TenHuisen and have only received a Venmo refund for the class, which Dori Scott describes as a “slap in the face.” TenHuisen sent a condolence card two weeks later, according to the Scotts. “There was no apology,” Walt Scott explained.

As per the sheriff’s report, TenHuisen told investigators that after an exercise in which kids were required to pick up rings from the bottom of the pool (which she stated Izzy was “proud” to accomplish), she discovered class was running two minutes over, so she requested pupils to swim a lap as a group. According to the sheriff’s report, TenHuisen stated she left the pool after she thought all the kids were gone, when parents arrived to pick up their kids.

TenHuisen heard her granddaughter cry, “There’s a youngster in the pool!” per the sheriff’s report. She dashed in to save Israel, who was lifeless. He had been at the bottom of the deep end, which TenHuisen believed to be eight feet deep.

According to the teacher, the last time she saw Izzy was when she assisted him through the ring exercise, and after that, he was playing in chest-level water.

The Burke County Sheriff’s Office indicated in a news release that no criminal charges would be brought in Izzy’s death following an investigation that includes analysing the autopsy and questioning TenHuisen and parents present during rescue efforts.

The announcement read that while there may have been some type of negligence. It was concluded that the case lacked the proper proof of criminal negligence. As a result, they will be unable to proceed with this matter. Their conclusions have been sent to the District Attorney for additional consideration.

On June 22, Izzy’s family hosted a “celebration of life” ceremony. The family requested the adults dress in blue, Izzy’s favourite colour, and that kids dress as superheroes. His funeral was held on June 25.

Dori Scott stated that Izzy’s younger brother is having difficulty understanding his loss.

She stated that they told him that Izzy is in paradise, but he doesn’t get it. He’s still conversing with Izzy while playing their (favourite) game. She stated that the family is undergoing bereavement counselling.

Dori Scott said she puts on a strong façade, but she is misunderstood and sad on the inside. She expressed that she misses him and it’s difficult realizing she’ll never see Izzy again.

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