Morgan Miller Shares Heartbreaking Plea on Anniversary of Daughter’s Drowning

Morgan Miller

For many, the month of June brings the start of warm weather, summer activities, and longer, slower days. But for former Olympic skier Bode Miller and his wife Morgan, June will always be a painful reminder of the tragic death of their daughter, Emeline. The 19-month-old drowned in a neighbor’s pool during a party in 2018.

Morgan shared an Instagram post on Wednesday honoring their late daughter just one day before the anniversary of her death. The pregnant mother of seven noted that while so much has happened in the three years since Emeline passed away, the immense feeling of loss is exactly the same.

“3 years later, I’m now sitting face to face with what took my daughter’s life and watching my boys learn to survive,” she captioned a photo of her three youngest children in an ISR swim class. “The twins are only 3 days younger than Emmy was on this day and if they were to fall in, they have the skills to survive.”

The professional beach volleyball player went on to say that it all comes down to knowledge.

“Had I known then, what I know now, my daughter would still be alive. It’s awareness of survival swim lessons, the false sense of security we give our children when we put them in puddle jumpers, it’s awareness of the relationship and beliefs we teach our children in thinking that water is a fun and safe place to be, awareness that drowning should have been my #1 concern in any situation since most drownings occur during non swim times and is THE #1 CAUSE OF DEATH for children under the age of 5.”

“Had I known then what I know now, my daughter would be alive…Let that sink in. So today, and everyday, make this a conversation. Share with parents and pediatricians what you now know because that conversation may just save a life.”

Since Emmy’s death in 2018, Bode and Morgan Miller have become advocates for early childhood water survival. They share their story openly and an often with the hope that it would educate parents and prevent other families from suffering a loss like theirs—one that is preventable with the right knowledge and tools.

“If your child is crawling, they should be floating,” Morgan said in a 2020 interview. “If your child is walking, they should be swimming.”

Drowning is the leading cause of death in children ages one to four

According to guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children should learn to swim at the age of one.

“Research has found that swim lessons are beneficial for children starting around age 1, and may lower drowning rates”, said Dr. Linda Quan, a co-author of the AAP policy statement.

“Learning to swim is a great family activity,” she says. “Families can talk with their pediatrician about whether their child is developmentally ready for swim lessons, and then look for a program that has experienced, well-trained instructors. Ideally, programs should teach ‘water competency’ too — the ability to get out of the water if your child ends up in the water unexpectedly.”

Of course, even the best swim lessons cannot “drown-proof” a child. The AAP recommends parents take steps to make a child’s environment safer — especially around any sort of water, from swimming pools to bathtubs, as a toddler can drown in less than a minute.

Experts suggest that if a child is not fully able to swim and is in the pool with an inflatable device, the parent or guardian also needs to be in the pool within an arm’s reach from the child.

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Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of! An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook!