Edina girl injured in pool accident could go home this weekby Greta Cunningham, Minnesota Public Radio
The parents of the 6-year-old Edina girl injured in a pool accident say their daughter could be released for Minneapolis Children's Hospital by the end of this week. Abigail Taylor was injured June 29 when she sat over an open drain in a wading pool at the Minneapolis Golf Club. The drain's powerful suction tore out a portion of her intenstinal tract.
Minneapolis, Minn. — Scott and Katey Taylor say they are amazed by their daughter's strength and positive attitude. They say they are trying to not shed any more tears for Abbey and her situation. They are trying to focus on the positive.
"Everyone says from everything bad, something good has to happen," said Katey Taylor. "And the amazing good that has come from this is kind of a renewal of humankind. Because people say people don't care about other people, and we have e-mails and letters from all across the country."
The Taylors say Abbey remembers the June 29 accident in great detail. Her mother says the situation is serious, and will be a life-long struggle.
"Abbey has no small intestine, so she can't absorb nutrients. So she's on what's called TPN -- Total Parental Nutrition," Katey Taylor said. "Right now she's on an IV 18 hours a day so that she has enough nutrients. That's her food source."
Katey Taylor says Abbey can only eat ice chips and an occasional Popsicle.
Doctors allow Abbey to be disconnected from the IV for four hours each day, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., so she can have some time to play with her three sisters. Eventually Abbey will be weaned off the IV a bit, and will need to received TPN 12 hours a day.
The Taylors say less than 48 hours after being admitted to Children's Hospital, Abigail was asking her parents to warn other children about the dangers of pool drains. Scott Taylor says the family is grateful that Abbey's story is making people more cautions when their children go swimming.
"One person had told me that they actually watched a father walk over to the drain and grab the drain -- put his hand on the drain and grab it and try to pull it off. That didn't happen a month ago. If nothing else, that message is out there and people are aware of the potential danger within plain sight," said Scott Taylor.
The Taylors and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar say they're pleased the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee recently approved new safety standards for the nation's swimming pools.
An amendment proposed by Klobuchar would require the stronger standards to apply to both new and existing public swimming pools.
Klobuchar says the Taylors' story helped get some action on the legislation.
"The courage of this family, and the courage of little Abigail, was an inspiration for change in Washington," said Klobuchar.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a report in 2005 saying that at least 130 people had been trapped by the suction of pool and spa drains since 1990, resulting in 27 deaths and many more hospital trips.
The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act is named for the 7-year-old granddaughter of James Baker, the former secretary of state. The girl drowned in a hot tub five years ago when the drain's suction trapped her underwater.
A similar bill in the House is expected to come up for a committee vote at the end of the month.
Abigail Taylor's parents expect her to start school in the fall. She will undergo additional surgery in mid-September, and another operation three months after that.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
- All Things Considered, 07/23/2007, 5:24 p.m.