Miss Tristan Lynn Byrd
This is her story
Tristan Lynn Byrd was not part of our plan. We are older parents and were content with the idea of only having one child. McKay, our then four-year-old daughter, often asked about a little brother or sister as she was one of the few in her class that did not have any siblings. We looked into adopting, but due to my age in particular, our options were minimal.
Soon after we were at a party and my wife, Dana, struck up a conversation with a woman about conception at her age. She said that she didn’t feel it was possible for her to get pregnant anymore. This particular party guest happened to be a nurse at a fertility clinic. She assured Dana that it was possible and we began to feel hopeful again.
Tristan Lynn Byrd was born on January 28, 2014. We were close to losing her at delivery due to complications, but she pulled through. Tristan came into this world at 7:01 p.m., beautiful and loud as could be.
She was such an incredibly loving child. When we hosted barbecues at our house, Tristan would always find us after an hour or so of playing to give us hugs. After dinner in the evenings, she would pat the cushions on the couch, which meant that it was time for daddy to read her a book. Her favorite book was “Brown Bear Brown Bear”. Her favorite activity was playing with her dolls. She absolutely loved caring for them.
It was quiet the morning of March 25, 2016. It was Good Friday, and everyone was sleeping in. Dana was planning on visiting the Easter Bunny at the mall with our girls. The last time I saw Tristan she was in her closet playing dolls with her mother and sister. I didn’t kiss her goodbye because I didn’t want to interrupt their playtime. I will regret that moment for the rest of my life.
The next time I saw my sweet little girl was when I heard our nanny scream. I immediately rushed outside and was met with my worst fear. Tristan was floating in our pool, unresponsive. I began to administer CPR, but she was already gone. Our family was broken in an instant.
Our lives are now devoted to drowning prevention through the Miss Tristan Foundation. Miss Tristan is working to have water safety added to the Pre-K curriculum in San Antonio schools. We also work with pool and fence companies to make pool barriers and gate/door alarms affordable. Before Tristan’s accident we had no idea that drowning was the leading cause of accidental death for children under 4 years of age. It could happen to anyone, and our mission is to ensure that through water safety education, not one more family loses a child due to drowning.