(NewsNation) — Families and friends are heading to the pool for a little summer fun, but where there’s fun there can also be danger.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, from 2017 to 2019, on average, 389 kids younger than 15 fatally drowned each year. 6,800 pool injuries involved the same age in 2021 — a 17% spike from 2020 when 5,800 kids were hurt.
It’s numbers like this that have Spencer and Ellis Brown on a mission to remind everyone to be careful in the water. Last year, during a family pool barbecue Spencer, who is 6 feet, 7 inches tall, jumped into 10 feet of water, hit his head at the bottom, and was left paralyzed.
“Once I hit my head, it was paralysis from the neck down, no sensation, no mobility, and quick turn of events,” Spencer explained.
Ellis, Spencer’s wife, said she and their families immediately jumped into the pool to rescue Spencer.
“It was so scary. So, I jumped in, and then my dad and my brothers then his brothers, and we all brought him to the shallow end and called the paramedics,” Ellis explained. “We’re just so thankful he’s here because it could have ended very differently”
Spencer’s message to others is to never swim alone.
“Don’t swim alone. Actually, a few days prior, I was swimming with my girls, and if I were to do the same thing there, my girls wouldn’t have been able to save me, and I would have been in the pool to drown and for them to find me, so never swim alone,” he said.
While doctors said Spencer would never walk again, he recently had a breakthrough walking across the stage at his NYU graduation.
Watch the full interview in the media player above.