“As I sit down to write my story, I hesitate because where do I begin? As the cursor blinks at me ready for words to form sentences, I take a deep breath and bring you back one year, 2 months and 8 days ago… Our life before our 2-and-a-half-year-old daughter’s accident. That life seems so perfect now, but that was then, and this is now. Our lives forever changed, beautiful but imperfect.
My name is Michelle Fox, and my husband and I now have 5 beautiful daughters. We live in between cornfields and sunshine in a small town in Ohio, and on May 27th, 2021, our lives were forever changed. Our story is one of incredible heartache, but also beautiful redemption, grace and grit.
How do you start off a story that’s so incredibly painful to write, or read for that matter? I know this has been coming, but it’s all so hard to say and relive too. This story didn’t affect just my family, but other families as well… school had just let out, and we were set to attend an award ceremony for my eldest daughter at her school. I wanted it to feel special for her without distractions —so we could focus on just her. When you’re the oldest of 4, sometimes it’s hard to be the center of attention for a bit. So I did what I did 2 days prior, when my daughter Grey also had an award ceremony for school, I asked my dear friend to watch our kids so we could attend the ceremony. Hair curled, dress on, I was ready. My husband left a little earlier than I did, I stayed behind to chat a little with my friend. Women like to do that ya know… 5:15 came, and I went out the door not thinking twice about anything. I arrived at school, ran across Grey’s teacher and thanked her for such an incredible year, before I went and took a seat in the auditorium. It felt like a few minutes had passed when I looked down at my phone and noticed a distress text from our friend. ‘911. Logan.’
The Drowning Incident
I ran out and called to find out our sweet Logan went to our backyard pond and drowned. The EMS team was there working on her, and there were also some police officers present. I ran back to tell my husband there was an emergency with Logan and we had to go. We rushed out of school to the hospital. Knowing nothing about her condition, we got there as fast as we could. They told us they transferred her to a different hospital because of the trauma endured. We knew it wasn’t good. We sped to the other hospital and waited for her arrival. We got there before she did, and that was another gut punch.
When she arrived at the hospital she had no pulse, but the emergency room workers didn’t give up. My husband and I fell to our knees and prayed like never before. ‘God, please don’t take my baby,’ was all I could say over and over again. Our pastor arrived and we all prayed. There, she did get a pulse! Hallelujah!!! We thought this was the miracle we were praying for! They got her as stable as they could and sent her up to the pediatric intensive care unit. They did cat scans and x-rays before we could get in the room, as well as placing lines in her hip to get an accurate blood pressure count. Along with the IVs, she was also hooked up to a ventilator. Her heart was beating from the Epinephrine in her IV. By the time we got to see her, my baby had so many lines coming out of her, and her body was cold. They put her on a warming bed and eventually were able to raise her temperature.
I held her hand most of the night, begging God to save her. Asking him to take my life instead. Pleading for a miracle. Many of our friends and family gathered to pray that night too. Strangers were praying for us… it was incredible to see. I told friends I could picture Jesus in her room, wiping her face, patting her head. I know he was there, and she was never alone from the moment her body touched the water. I know he was with her even before then. The doctors read her scans, and the swelling on her brain was immense. They said they typically saw that kind of swelling with head injuries that were two days old, and the swelling was just going to get worse. They hooked her up to an EEG monitor to scan for waves of the brain. That machine sat so still all of the night. By morning, we knew Logan was only staying ‘alive’ with machines, and she was destined for heaven. God placed that knowledge on both my heart and my husband’s heart. We told the doctors we were ready to say our goodbyes.
Our pastor came in and prayed with us. I held my baby in the same hospital she was born in as her body slowly let go with my husband holding us both… that is the story of the worst day of my life. I remember coming home and being in need of a shower, but I collapsed on our bathroom floor sobbing— how did this happen to our family? How did this happen to our sweet Logan? How did this happen to her sisters? And to my husband and to ME? Worried about our family and our marriage, I heard my husband come into our bathroom, and he picked me up off the floor and held me tight. I remember that moment so clearly as it was a powerful moment for us and right there, I knew we were going to be alright. I can’t imagine the strength he had to have to help me in that moment, but I am so thankful and he continues to be that strength holding us together.
A part of me died that day with her, but life still carries on even after child loss. That feels so wrong to admit, and some days the joy I still look for in life is wrapped up with guilt and grief, but what I can tell you is life can still be beautiful. It’s beautiful because SHE is in it. It’s beautiful because before her accident, I would say my faith’s foundation was still wet cement, while now I am certain it’s solid and she marked her little hand prints all over it. I feel her in the rainbows, butterflies, sunsets, laughter of our daughters, in our chickens she loved to hold. I feel her in every scholarship recipient we have (more on that in a second!) I feel her everywhere. I know our story didn’t end like we had hoped for, prayed for, or wanted, but God has been so close and has truly gotten us through these past 15 months without her.
A lot has changed since then. In July, we had our 5th baby girl! We chose to do a home-birth, and she came into this world between those same rows of corn and sunshine that, on any summer day, you could find Logan soaking up naked and barefoot with her wild blonde hair flowing in the wind (inside the house of course, not physically in the cornfield, although that would make for a great story). It was such a beautiful experience. I typically am a really private person, but I started to share my story and experiences on my social media. I have fought my way through depression with the help of a Christian mentor, faced some of my fears, and told Satan to buzz off any chance I can get. I refuse to give him any type of victory in our story or Logan’s accident. I have learned to glorify God even through the worst of storms. I’ve learned to forgive, and I’ve learned what friendship can look like after a tragedy that neither one of us wanted to be a part of.
The friendship that our family friend and I have is rooted in Christ, and I know what happened that day was truly an accident. I have gotten out of my comfort zone by being the face of our charity. I have learned what it’s like to fear water, but also learned to respect it. I’ve learned what it’s like to parent a child from heaven, and I am now on a mission to end childhood drowning. A few months after Logan’s accident, a friend approached me about doing a dinner to raise funds for ISR (infant swim rescue) lessons for families that couldn’t afford these lessons.
If you are unfamiliar with what ISR is, please educate yourself, especially if you have small children. I loved the idea, and we took off running with it. At Logan’s funeral, all I could remember our pastor saying were things like, ‘Find the beauty in life BECAUSE OF LOGAN, continue to live for her, love her and talk about her often.’ Because of Logan…. That phrase kept repeating in my head and heart, so that is what we named our organization. Our first Because of Logan event was a huge success! I can’t thank our community and all those who have supported us enough. I have learned so much in our first year as an organization. I have learned about water safety, drowning prevention, the importance of sharing our story, so maybe it can help save more children from drowning.
Before our accident, I didn’t know the horrific statistics surrounding drowning and young children. Did you know it is the number ONE cause of death in children ages 1-4 and the 2nd leading cause in children ages 5-12? And if your child is on the autism spectrum, they are 160 times more likely to drown? Boys are twice as likely to drown than girls, and 70% of accidents happen during non-swim times. I literally had no clue, and at that time, I had 4 kids! It was never talked about, never discussed, and I thought we were practicing safe water procedures, but unfortunately I was wrong. We launched our scholarship application process in late December of 2021, and to this day, we have been able to provide 45 scholarships in 13 different states and 1 family in Canada!
What Logan and God have been able to accomplish with the work of our hands and feet has been so humbling to watch. Her life is still moving forward by helping as many kids as she can learn to self rescue. If you would like to learn more about Because of Logan and what ISR is, please check out our website www.becauseoflogan.com You can find us on Facebook and Instagram as well! Drowning is preventable. It is a silent killer, and it doesn’t care how much you love your child… getting your child skilled in self rescue lessons is a key step in the layers of protection against childhood drowning.
Logan may only have been on this earth for 2 years, 7 months and 23 days, but her impact has been profound. She is changing lives by helping kids learn to self rescue. She is bringing hope to a story that feels so hopeless, and she is bringing people together all across North America to make a difference in swim safety awareness. She has made the beauty of Heaven so clear, and I can see her wild self dancing free on those streets of gold. While our time on earth might feel long, I can’t wait for the day I get to hold my sweet girl again. Until then, we will live each day to honor her as best as we can.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Michelle Fox of Ohio. You can follow her journey on her website, Instagram, or Facebook. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more powerful stories about drowning safety:
‘I ran to the laundry room. Something told me to put my hands in the washing machine. I resisted. No way. Are you kidding me? Of course he is not in the washing machine.’: Infant son dies from drowning in washing machine
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