• Mother of toddler who drowned in Putnam County speaks out about preventing child drownings

    By: Beth Rousseau , Action News Jax


    PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. - The mother of a local toddler who drowned in a lake near his home opened up only to Action News Jax on Friday.

    “I’m shattered. We’re all shattered. We’re all broken. There’s something missing here,” Christine Taggart said.


    Taggart explained the loss of her 2-year-old son Jackson is being felt by the entire family.

    On May 2, deputies say the toddler got out of the family’s Putnam County home and ended up in a lake across the street.

    MORE: Teaching children how to survive the water

    “I thought I was in a nightmare, honestly because I said there’s no way that he got out because he never did it before,” Taggart said.

    According to Taggart, they had baby gates and every type of child stop imaginable in the house.

    She couldn’t believe Jackson was able to get out of the house and in to the water.

    “I kept telling my husband I’m sick to my stomach, something’s not right. I don’t feel him anymore and he was gone," Taggart said. 

    Both parents said all the other kids know how to swim, but they thought Jackson was too young.

    Taggart said it wasn’t until she saw a story about Infant Swimming Resource on Action News Jax that she realized lessons were available for children as young as 6 months old.

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    “I was shocked to see that news story that there were babies able to save their own lives,” she explained.

    Taggart and her husband said they’d be setting up a foundation to help families pay for early intervention swim lessons.

    She told Action News Jax she’s more than willing to share Jackson’s story if it will save a single life.

    “I never want another mother, or family to feel the way that I do,” Taggart said. “Not on single soul on this earth deserves to lose and bury a child.”

    A poker run is set for Saturday to assist in paying for Jackson’s headstone.

    Click this link for more information.

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