MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As the summer season officially gets underway, families all over South Florida are getting their backyard pools ready—and many are likely thinking of the Sloan family from North Miami.
The Sloan’s 7-year-old son, Calder, was electrocuted and killed in their pool. In the wake of the incident, the family has made it their mission to ensure their help in making sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Chris Sloan, Calder’s father, says pulling back the tarp that now covers his backyard pool is like opening a grave.
“The light for me and my family is darkness and we do not look at it often,” said Sloan.
It was just over one month ago that Sloan’s son Calder brushed up against that light while swimming on a Sunday afternoon. An electrical current coursed through the boy’s body, killing him.
“As a dad, I can say, did I sign his death warrant for saying ‘you can go in the pool’?” said Sloan.
The Sloan family is still reeling from their loss. Still looking for answers.
“You go through a lot of questions as to what happened, and what could have happened, but at the end of the day it’s like how unnatural would you think that if you are swimming in a pool, that you swim and somehow brush up against the pool light…and then cause a violent electrocution – and that’s what it was.”
Calder’s tragic death has touched families all over—his self-portrait has gone viral. Mr. Awesome’s face, as his father called him, has now been all over the world.
“There’s been this confluence of horror and beauty that have all come together to create this awareness to save lives. Unfortunately, it was too late for our son, but his power can affect positive change,” said Sloan.
The Sloan’s want Calder’s death to encourage people to check their pool light and even go further as in checking all electrical work in their homes.
It’s important to make sure everything’s been properly grounded and that licensed professionals do all the work.
“Are you going to be able to stay in this house?” CBS4’s Rick Folbaum asked Sloan.
“This is a great house – this is a place that has been full of great memories and adventures,” said Sloan.
The North Miami home is filled with reminders of Calder, his artwork, his favorite toys, his bedroom, which he shared with his younger brother, Caleb, whom insists on still sleeping in the room they shared.
“You’re thinking, well, he is not going to get this opportunity to change the world now is he? And people can grow to be 80-years-old and they have the option of whatever mark they chose to leave, and nobody is to judge what that is. It’s your option… but, if you’re seven years and seven days, you sure didn’t get a lot of time,” said Sloan.
The Sloan’s have set up a legacy site in memory of their son. To visit the website, click the link http://calderslegacy.com/poolsafety/.