Madilyn was conceived after almost 2 years of trying and one miscarriage. She was the rainbow after the storm. Madilyn's pregnancy was high risk, but nothing too severe. She just really wanted to be out in the world early. Madilyn Lynette Mims was born on July 29, 2019 weighing 6lbs 5oz and 19.5 inches long. She came home on July 31st. In the first weeks and months of her life we spent a lot of time with family. Madilyn was very colic-y and fussy baby. I had SO much anxiety about her. I kept one hand on her when she slept even to make sure she was still breathing. After she was born I would see horror stories about SIDS and RSV and I was just fully dedicated to protecting the most precious thing I had ever created. Madilyn was obsessed with her sister, Paizley, "woof-woofs", and dinosaurs. Easter of 2020 I suffered another miscarraige, but I was so thankful I had Madilyn and Paizley to get me through. Madilyn's first birthday came and it was "Wild One" themed. Not a girly/boho "Wild One" but a Jungle Animal themed party. She was our Monkey girl so it was very fitting. She started walking around 14 months of age and had delayed milestones so for that she was in occupational therapy. Madilyn was so very intelligent, she just didn't use her words often. If she ever spoke your name or spoke to you then you really were someone special to her. Madilyn could sign at least 6 words in sign language (modified to fit her style, but still) which was what the occupational therapist had recommended us to use to get her to start talking and it was working. March 15, 2021 I gave birth to her baby sister, Addisyn Elaine. With Addisyn I felt less attachment and more post partum depression. I would come home from work and just be so exhausted to keep up with Madilyn and Addisyn and my school work since I also started school in the fall. However, I always tried to drag the kids and myself out of the house even if it was just to go get sno cones. My husband worked construction so he worked long hours and when he came home it would be late or he would be too exhausted to help much. My marriage was a sinking ship from the beginning, if I am being honest. I wanted a family and to do family things and well that wasn't what he wanted is all I will say on that. After having Addisyn and being in school and our fights worsening, he kicked me out on October 13, 2021. I packed my car with only some clothes for me and the kids, diapers, wipes, bottles, and formula and we left and stayed at my mom's house. On October 19 Madilyn had a dentist appointment near our house so I asked if he wanted us to stay over so he could see the girls and he said yes. So, that night we stayed out the house with him and the nanny went there to watch the kids while I worked. The next day Wednesday October 20 I was leaving work and I was so exhausted. When I got home the nanny said the baby had just fallen asleep and Madilyn was running around playing. I tried to go take a nap but Madilyn didn't want to and ultimately woke up Addisyn. So, I packed the kids up and went back to my moms house.
On October 20, 2021 at approximately 5:20pm I heard Madilyn telling my mom's boyfriend goodbye as he left to get her from her bus stop. I watched her run back past me giggling and I went to the kitchen and grabbed some baby food to feed Addisyn who was fussing like crazy at this point. My mom's roommate asked me to fix his glucose monitor and sat it next to me then said he had to run off to work or he was going to be late. I continued feeding the baby and I could hear Madilyn playing in her playroom. I remember the sounds of the farm house too clunking like it was yesterday. Then, while feeding Addisyn, I realized how quiet it was so I got her out of her high chair and went to check on Madilyn in the playroom. She wasn't there. Immediately I ran to the back door and looked at the pool and I did not see her outside so with a sigh of relief I turned and ran screaming for her throughout the whole house. The baby started to cry since I was screaming so I scooped her up and ran to the backyard again, but this time it was different. As I turned to look at my mom's pool I saw a small pink dot in the water and immediately thought, "no way there's a float in there we haven't ben swimming." I set 7 month old Addisyn down by the deck near the gate and sprinted to the pink dot that I cam to find was my child. My baby just floating there lifeless and gray. I immediately pulled her out of the water and dropped to my knees and started CPR, screaming desperately for help. No one was coming. I picked her up and ran to the back door to get my phone and dial 9-1-1. But the door locked behind me I couldn't get in the house. So I dropped again and continued CPR and yelling for help and then I lifted her up once again and sprinted through the gate to the neighbors' front door. I was banging their door with one hand and banging her chest with my other hand screaming for her to fight and to breathe and not to leave me. The neighbor opened the door and started screaming with me. His wife came and I yelled my other baby was in the back yard so she rushed to her and her sister called 9-1-1 and their 11 year old son took over CPR on Madilyn until the cops arrived. After 24 minutes in the ambulance, the paramedics got her heart beating again. She was brought to HCA Bayshore ER where they put her on vents to help her breathe. The doctors and nurses kept telling me how amazing I did and how I did everything I could in that situation and all I could think was I might not see my baby alive again. At one point they told me she was breathing over the vents but to make sure her lungs regained enough function they would keep the vents on. She was life flighted to HCA Clear Lake to the Pediatric ICU and only my husband and myself were allowed in the room. Her eyes were randomly opening and her body would shake randomly. The doctors thought she was having seizures, but she was not. She did not have any brain activity and the only functioning part of her brain was the stem. Other than her lungs, all of her other organs functioned really well. Her father and I decided on organ donation. Madilyn's lungs started collapsing faster than her stem was decompressing so we had to make a call to "unplug" her and direct donate her organs. Her kidneys were given to a 42 year old male and I am not sure who her heart valves went to, but I know they used those as well.
On October 22, 2021 around 2 p.m. we started our walk down to the basement and to the room where they would unplug Madilyn and immediately begin harvesting her organs. The hallways were filled with family and friends. She had a huge flag over her body and her favorite blankets and some stuffed animals. And we took her angel walk listening to "Wheels on the Bus and Baa-Baa Black Sheep, Cocomelon Soundtrack versions. Once we prayed and exchanged our last goodbyes, they played " You are my Sunshine" in the OR, per my request. I actually even had a friend's spouse who was in the room and she reached out and told me she just wanted to let me know that they played the song on repeat while they made my baby a super hero angel. Funeral arrangements for a 2 year old while also taking care of a 7 month old AND being separated from your spouse is tough. However organizations like "Acts for Adalynn Foundation" and "The Kylie Rose Foundation" all were great beacons of support and still are. They made me want to keep Madilyn's name alive as well so I have created Madilyn's Magnitude and it is my mission to spread awareness throughout the country about accidental drownings and the importance of securing bodies of water so small children can not access them so easily. If you or someone close to you has experienced the loss of a loved one due to accidental drowning, please use the contact page. We would love to feature your loved one and shine light on their story and their mark they left on the world.
This charity is 100% non-profit. All proceeds will go to helping families who experience this kind of loss or who need help getting resources to keep their children safe from harm if they cannot afford to.