Miracle Monday: How one family is turning tragedy into hope for others

Reporter: Amanda Hall
Published: Updated:

Miracle Monday is not about the triumphs normally shared, but it’s not any less impactful.

This story does not have a happy ending, but what it does have is a message that could potentially save a life.

“Almost six years ago, we lost our son — he was 2 and a half — to a drowning accident,” said Jen Witmer.

The family was visiting her mom in Cape Coral from Pennsylvania when Zane drowned.

“Within hours of getting there, I would say maybe three hours of being there, my husband found our son in her pool,” Witmer said.

Zane died three days later.

“I have videos on my phone, and you like hear his tiny little voice, and you smile and cry all at the same time,” Witmer said.

That voice and his memory are what motivated her to teach ISR swim lessons.

Zane died when he was 3 after falling into his grandmother’s pool in Cape Coral. (CREDIT: Courtesy)

She teaches children as young as 6 months to self-rescue, to roll their backs to float.

“You want them to have a skill to have a chance to rescue themselves until you can get to them,” Witmer said.

That skill is just one layer of protection that she outlines on her website, and she feels strongly about it. She raises money to cover the cost of lessons for families who can’t afford them.

“Drowning doesn’t discriminate,” Witmer said. “It happens. It happens to good parents. It happens to parents that watch their kids.”

The miracle on this Miracle Monday is what she hopes to do for other families: the miracle that she wishes she had for hers.

“When you lose a child, like your biggest fear is people just forgetting your child. I feel like that’s kind of our motivation and our drive because he was too precious to be forgotten,” Witmer said.

Zane’s birthday is Nov. 21. To mark it, the family delivers blankets to Golisano Children’s Hospital. They make sure it’s 1,121 blankets.

For more information, visit Because of Zane.

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