Columbus man hopes to put an end to child drownings with new prevention program

Columbus man hopes to put an end to child drownings with new prevention program

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Following the heartbreaking drowning of a child in the Chattahoochee River this week, one local couple is trying to stop this from happening to any more families.

Keith Hobbs and his wife are working to start a new drowning prevention program for the Chattahoochee Valley. They say this issue is important to them because they have personal experience with these sorts of tragedies.

Keith Hobb’s own son drowned in a swimming pool in 2013. His son was only 2-years old. The boy suffered severe brain damage in the incident and died two years later from complications.

“With my son, we’ve experienced the loss ourselves. It was a simple miscommunication between me and my wife and I thought he was with her and she thought he was with me. Thanks to the diligent effort of the doctors, the hospital, and the men and women of the fire department I was actually able to have a couple more years with my son,” said Keith Hobbs.

Earlier this week, 6-year-old Jeremiah Henderson’s drowned after slipping on rocks near the Chattahoochee River. Now, Hobbs says something needs to be done and he thinks his new prevention program could help.

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“The three main things I want to do is I want to try to offer free swimming lessons to children 5 and under considering that they account for the most drownings. I also want to try to offer free CPR lessons for parents and family members of children and then I also want to try to create a support group,” said Hobbs

Hobbs had to perform CPR on his son, and he says it’s imperative that other people learn how to do it too.

“I believe honestly that if I never took the time to learn CPR, I wouldn’t have the time with my son that I did. Nine times out of ten when CPR is performed it’s on a family member and a lot of people don’t realize that,” said Hobbs

Hobbs plans on working with the City and first responders to get the drowning prevention initiative started. He says he just hopes no more children in our area fall victim to drowning.

“It only takes 25 seconds for a child to drown and when a child falls into a lake or into a pool or something like that they don’t make noise, there is no splashing, there’s no screams for help, and then the life is lost," said Hobbs

Hobbs has also set up a go-fund-me to help get his drowning prevention program started.

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