MARRERO, La. (WGNO) – A Marrero couple says child negligence had nothing to do with their daughter’s death.
The toddler was found unresponsive over the weekend, at the bottom of the family’s above-ground pool.
Her parents spoke to WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter about what happened; and they issued a warning to other parents.
“I’ve always been there for my daughter, and I’m a great mother,” Ester Diaz said.
Ester Diaz wants to set the record straight about the accident that claimed her daughter’s life.
2-year old Natalie Gandy was found unresponsive Saturday, at the bottom of the family’s backyard pool.
Investigators say it happened during a gathering at the family’s Marrero home, located at 5144 Randolph Street.
The family says the statement released from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office sends the wrong message about what really happened.
“I just don’t want people to think that we were not here and that we were partying and that we were just not taking care of her because I take care of my kids,” Diaz explained.
She says her mother had suffered a seizure, and was in need of medical attention.
The focus was on looking after her when little Natalie slipped away.
Family members found her and tried CPR, but it was too late.
“She was only two, but she had such an impact on everybody’s life who she came across,” Natalie’s father Justin Gandy said proudly. “Everyone loved her. She was a loved little girl.”
Family members described Natalie as a girly girl who was bi-lingual.
Even through all of their obvious pain, the little girl’s parents found strength to do what they believe is their god given duty.
“Hopefully god put us in this situation that we’re able to help someone else,” Diaz said.
“I hate that my baby has to be an example but this will be a lesson to other parents who love their kids as much as we love ours. Don’t get complacent. Keep your eyes on your kids at all times,” Gandy said.
“It’s only a second; it only takes a second so please y’all keep your eyes on your baby, because it was just a second,” Diaz pleaded. “Maybe it’ll help other parents out this summer. It was just a second.”
A Natalie Gandy Memorial Fund has been set up at Capital One Bank.
Donations are being accepted at any branch of Capital One.
To help offset funeral costs you can make a donation at any branch location, or mail to Ester Diaz, 5144 Randolph Street, Marrero, LA 70072.
Memorial services for Natalie Gandy are set for 10 a.m. Saturday, at Iglesia de Dios Getsemani, located at 2701 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie, LA 70006.