Parents of 3-year-old girl who drowned urging others to teach children how to swim, keep life jackets on

"Everyone knew Camilla for her eyes and her smile, she had the biggest blue eyes," said her mother, Daniela Hawthorne.

"She was definitely my baby girl," said Camilla's father Chad Cannon. "She was like her mama, but she was definitely my baby girl."

RELATED: Toddler dies after drowning in swimming pool in NW Harris Co.: Sheriff

Last Sunday, this couple and their three kids did what they normally do, they went swimming at a friend's house.

"She took her life jacket off, just like she always does to go rinse off her feet," Hawthorne said. 

"She was a sassy thing, prissy little girl. She had to make sure her feet were clean when she got out of the pool."

"Turned my back to her for a minute, and was trying to hurry up and get the other kids out of the pool so we could leave," said Cannon.

RELATED: Young child possibly drowns in Atascocita, authorities say

Suddenly, 3-year-old Camilla Rose Cannon slipped on the ladder and fell into the above ground pool.

"Her brother, Cayden, pulls her out of the water, and said she's not breathing, and gave her to him, and I hear him screaming, 'Daniela, she's not breathing, she's not breathing," said Hawthorne.

"He took over chest compressions while I was breathing into her mouth opening her airway," Cannon said. "Next thing you know, she puked up a bunch of her food and some water. I thought we were almost in the clear, but she was still. Nothing was happening."


On Friday, doctors at Texas Children's hospital in The Woodlands took four of Camilla's organs for transplants.

"She's our blue-eyed angel. A lot of people have been calling her a miracle, someone else's miracle, pretty much," said Cannon. "That's kind of a bitter-sweet moment. But if she can save other lives, then it's a blessing. That's the only way we can cope with it right now."


These heartbroken parents want to remind other parents to get swimming lessons for their kids as soon as possible, and keep life jackets on at all times near the water.

"If I would have known she would slip off a ladder, I would have made sure she had her jacket on when she was washing her feet off," Hawthorne said.

A benefit for Camilla will be held on August 6. For more information, click here.