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Family of drowning victim installs pool safety fences for others

Family of drowning victim installs pool safety fences for others

By Katie Crowther. CREATED Apr 1, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - After losing a child to drowning, one family in Henderson has made it their mission to make sure no one else suffers the same immeasurable loss.

Clayre Rukavina, died in her backyard pool, just two weeks before a safety fence was scheduled to be installed around it. She was just one-year-old.

"It just took a moment for her to get out, and get in that pool," says her mom, Brianna, who still lives with the pain every day. "I used to watch the stories every summer, and wonder how that could happen. I didn't realize how fast it can happen, even to really conscientious families."

Brianna's two-year-old son, Brian, has helped her carry-on. So has Clayre's Foundation, a non-profit she started in her daughter's name, with the goal of getting a fence around every pool in the valley. Brianna raises money through grants and private donations, in order to install free pool safety fences for other families.

"A lot of people who move in to older homes, have backyard pools, without protection," she says. "Installing a safety fence can be really expensive."

Gary and Buena Carter - and their three-year-old daughter, Giselle - are the latest recipients of a free pool safety fence through Clayre's Foundation.

"We're so happy about it," Buena says. "I was always worried about Giselle. She doesn't know how to swim yet."

"Giselle is my pride and joy, and we're expecting another baby," Gary adds. "If anything happened to them, I don't know what we would do. The fence really is saving two lives."

It also brings peace of mind to Brianna, who lives to honor Clayre. "To be able to protect someone else is a really phenomenal feeling. A lot of healing comes from that."

April 7th marks the four-year anniversary of Clayre's death.

On average, eight children drown each year in southern Nevada. Drowning is second only to car crashes, as the leading cause of death among children under the age of 14.

To find out more about the Clayre Foundation, just visit the website www.clayre-foundation.com