Checking in With the Now 8-Year-Old Whose Video of Her Learning to Swim at 6 Months Went Viral
Morrison wanted Josie and her older daughter, Julia, 10, to learn the Infant Swimming Resource method at such a young age because her eldest son, Jake, drowned before his third birthday.
A 6-month-old is lured into the water using a rubber sandal. Video of the baby trying to stay afloat during her swim lesson went viral back on 2016. It sparked a lot of criticism for mom, Keri Morrison.
“I really don't understand all the negative feedback that we’re receiving because to me when I look at that video I see nothing but amazing. Here is a 6-month-old that is sitting on the steps, falls in, does exactly what she was trained to do," Morrison told Inside Edition at the time. The story, posted on Inside Edition’s YouTube, has more than 13 million views.
Today that baby named Josie is 8 years old and yes, she’s seen the video. “I was actually really surprised that I had a nice float and I was swimming really good,” she tells Inside Edition Digital.
In fact, because of those crucial lessons, Josie is now a terrific swimmer.
“By the time she was 2 years old, she could swim the length of any pool, dive for toys, somersaults,” Morrison boasts.
Morrison wanted Josie and her older daughter Julia, 10, to learn the Infant Swimming Resource method at such a young age because her eldest son, Jake, drowned before his third birthday.
“I just wish that I had put Jake in those lessons because I think he'd still be here today,” she says.
The ISR class teaches infants starting at 6 months old how to roll onto their backs to float, rest and breathe.
In 2014, Morrison founded the Live Like Jake Foundation that has provided over 3,600 hundred scholarships nationwide for kids to take ISR self-rescue lessons. Morrison wanted to make sure it was available to families that may not afford them because of its hefty price tag.
Three years ago, she opened a swim school in Palm Beach Gardens. Sixty to eighty kids are taught to self-rescue at the facility that’s open all year round, since Morrison says lessons tend to be seasonal even in Florida. “It was important, because of Jake's accident being at the end of November, that drownings don't stop, drowning knows no season,” she says firmly.
Drowning is a leading cause of death for children ages 1-4 in the United States. Four-thousand kids die from an accidental drowning a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“Drowning doesn't discriminate. It can happen to the best of parents,” Morrison warns. “I was a helicopter parent. Jake was a cautious child. He was not one that was drawn to the water. He didn't run to it. That was not him. Don't think that it can't happen to you. It happens to really, really good parents. It's quick, it's silent, and the only way to prevent it is the layers of protection, and one of which is self-rescue swim lessons.”
Eight years later, Morrison doesn’t regret sharing that controversial video of Josie, which has reached millions of people around the world.
“I still have people telling me that they put their child into lessons because of that video,” she says proudly.
“It saved a lot of lives. I know it did.”
Trending on Inside Edition
NHL Star and His Brother Accused of Raping College Student in LawsuitCrime
Why Do More People Seem to Be Getting Sick This Flu Season?Health
Tips for Leaving Creepy Crawlies at the Christmas Tree FarmOffbeat
Alex Murdaugh Sentenced to 27 Years in Plea Deal After Admitting to 22 Financial CrimesCrime
A Toy Story: How the Hess Truck Became a Holiday Staple and Conjures Up Childhood Nostalgia for SomeOffbeat
Riley Keough Gets $7.5M From Lisa Marie Trust, Pays Priscilla $2.35M to be Sole Trustee of Estate: SettlementEntertainment