CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — The father of a two-year-old girl who drowned in Chesterfield County reached out to 8News after his tragic loss. His daughter died after being found unresponsive in a swimming pool earlier this week.
The toddler’s dad, Marcus Ackerman, told 8News he hasn’t been able to eat or sleep for the past couple of days. Ackerman said what hurts the most is that he wasn’t there to prevent his daughter from drowning.
“I feel like a failure because I wasn’t there to put my arm there to grab her,” Ackerman said. “So now I see a picture of my little girl, going underwater, struggling to take her last breath, looking you going why.”
Police were called to a home on Lilking Court in Chesterfield County around 10:30 a.m. on July 8.
“She had been floating in a pool,” Ackerman told 8News, “they found her face down.”
The child, who the family identified as Jayleigh Ackerman, was rushed to Chippenham Hospital where she died two days later. Ackerman told 8News he has plans to donate his daughter’s organs, saying his daughter will be a superhero for other children.
“I want to help them and bless them with a life that was taken from me,” he said. “By them taking something from my little daughter, that means my daughter lived on.”
Police are still investigating how this happened but Ackerman has a message for parents.
“Be safe when you have something that’s dangerous outside like a swimming pool and access to get to it very easily, watch your kids, be concerned. Know that anytime, something bad can happen,” he said.
Ackerman said he’s heartbroken that he has to bury his daughter. 8News also spoke with the girl’s mother, who was home when the two-year-old drowned. Ackerman and the mother are divorced.