be careful

‘I didn’t think twice about giving my 3-year-old popcorn. She was happily sitting when she began to cough and choke. Soon, she was wheezing. I knew this wasn’t normal. I should’ve trusted my gut.’

“I should’ve called an ambulance. I didn’t realize the seriousness of it. A few days went on and she had a terrible wheeze and was struggling to breathe. She couldn’t run, swim, or play. The doctor was frustrated with me and assured me if it was the popcorn, it wouldn’t be dangerous. Ignored my instincts.”

‘Lathered in sunscreen, poolside, I suddenly realized my son wasn’t with me. My eyes hit the shallow end. I spotted a toddler completely submerged in water. The world stopped. I plunged in.’

“I was not the mother to make this kind of error. The mother who looked away. ‘If he’s alive, he’d be kicking, fighting.’ Why wasn’t he fighting? I pulled him onto the cement and thrusted my hand against his back. Fingernails pink, skin pale, lips discolored. His white knuckles gripped my neck. ‘ANDREW. Andrew, please come back to me.'”

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