Tampa family who lost toddler child in drowning incident starts foundation to prevent other incidents

TAMPA, Fla. - Seeing pictures of 21-month-old Luke Leavengood is only just starting to get less painful.

"You can see his cute dimple there," said his mother, Robin Leavengood.

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In November 2012, he toddled out of his family home and into a neighbor's pool. After spending weeks on life support, he was gone.

"When you experience that kind of a tragedy, and you are grieving, you really want, and you need something good to come out of it," said Leavengood.

On Thursday morning, three-year-old Adon graduated from a program given by South Tampa instructor Leo Gonzalez.

"You have doors, you have fences, you have alarms. All these types of barriers that you may have for children. This is a last resort."

The final assignment is to go into the water with his clothes on and get back to the side of the pool. It simulates what might happen if he were to accidentally fall into the water.

<div>Luke Leavengood</div>
Luke Leavengood

"I just want everyone to know about this particular type of swim lesson, which is a survival lesson," said Leavenwood.

Adon's classes were contributed by a foundation started by Luke's family, called Saved by Luke. Adon's mom says there's no way she could have afforded the lessons without this scholarship.

"It's kind of gives me a sense of security to say, you never know what's going to happen," said Adon's mother, Kayln Houser. "A lot of our family members have pools. We live in Florida or my parents have a boat. He's by the ocean."

Adon's big day helps the Leavengoods heal just a bit more.

Luke's twin, Vivian, is now 12. She has two younger siblings, Margaret, 8, and Nick, who is six.

"Luke has been gone for 11 years, so that's pretty much how long it has taken for me to stand here and to smile and to help give other families hope."

As the state puts it, "There are enough children who drown every year to fill several preschool classrooms."

And the number is rising, from 50 in 2019 to 60 in 2020 and 75 in 2021.