Mum’s grief after she ‘turned away for two seconds’ and then her nearly two-year-old son drowned

A MUM has recalled the day she tragically lost her toddler after he drowned in a pond in their back garden. 

Lucy Herd lost her son, Jack, just before his second birthday in 2010, and has opened up about her grief with Esther Rantzen, for Channel 5’s documentary Living With Grief.

The 46-year-old, from Berkshire, recalled the ‘beautiful sunny’ day in August when she took a call which would change her life. 

Lucy, also mum to Josh, now 24, and Ellé, now 19, says she got Jack set up with some drawing, then answered the phone and chatted for a few minutes.

But when she turned around, the back doors were open and Jack was nowhere to be seen. 

She told the Mirror: “I was calling him and I went outside and the dog was sat up by the pond and I just knew.

“I ran up to the pond and he was face down. I got him out and tried to resuscitate him.”

Lucy, an IT consultant, added she remembers ‘screaming and screaming for help’ as she tried in vain to bring back Jack, who’d scaled a four-and-a-half-foot wall to get to the pond. 

“At the hospital the emergency director put her hand on my shoulder and she said, ‘Lucy, I’m so sorry there’s nothing else we can do’. That’s when my heart broke into a million pieces and that’s the day that I died,” she said. 

The mum added that day ‘changed her life’ forever, and that of her family. 

Her then-husband, an engineer, was only able to take three days paid leave from his job – one of which had to be for the funeral.

The family was forced to use three weeks unpaid sick leave and holiday, which was all they could afford. 

Just weeks after her son's death Lucy started a campaign to make paid parental leave a legal right, and Jack’s Law finally came into force last April. 

In the years since Jack's death she also worked with Royal Life Saving Society, to warn parents of the dangers of bodies of water around children. 

In 2015 Lucy shared a poignant message on Mother’s Day, as she held up placards reliving her grief, as she would get ‘one less signature’ on her card. 

She said: “In August 2010 my son Jack drowned in my garden pond just two weeks before his second birthday.

"My world crumbled on that day and my heart broke into a million pieces.

"I was sad for a very long time and still now five years on I have sad days.

"Did you know you can have 12 months off for the birth of a child, but only three days to grieve your child? It seems very unfair, doesn't it?

"I will always be Jack's mummy, even if he is no longer here.”

In her latest chat with Esther, Lucy fondly remembered the son she lost, saying he would ‘blow kisses to the world’ and would say hello to everyone. 

Lucy, who's son Josh is now a lifeguard, added that all the campaigning she’s done over the years has been for her little boy. 

Living With Grief airs at 10pm tonight, February 18, on Channel 5.

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