My name is Scott Deming. I live in Syracuse, New York, where I am an international speaker, an author and a Buffalo Bills fan. But what really surprises people about me is that I wear pink nail polish on my pinky finger.
Why do I do it? Because I want people to notice it and ask me why. And when they do, I tell them about Amaya, my precocious, adorable 2-year-old granddaughter.
Amaya was calm and cuddly with endless energy and curiosity. She loved animals and especially bugs – so much so that she earned the nickname “Buggy” from her dad. And Amaya loved to paint her nails pink.
Amaya’s parents, Danielle and Tim, are complete opposites. Tim is quiet and loves the outdoors, while my daughter, Danielle, is outgoing and loves to sing and dance. Amaya was a wonderful combination of the two – both an entertainer at heart and an independent thinker.
Everyone adored Amaya – family, friends and strangers alike. She had an incredible gift of delighting those around her with the funny and irresistible things she would say and do.
But on Sept. 11, 2012, everything changed.
That evening, Amaya was getting ready to watch her favorite movie, “Madagascar,” on DVD. She used a cabinet drawer to climb up to put the DVD into the television. As she reached up, the weight of her body was enough to tip the TV and piece of furniture it was standing on. Both came toppling down, and Amaya died instantly.
Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Amaya. Losing a child is one of the greatest fears for any parent or grandparent. It feels surreal to know that we’ll never see or hold her again. And it makes me feel incredibly alone.
But sadly, we’re not alone. These types of tragedies happen more often than we think. In fact, every 45 minutes, a child is sent to the emergency room because of a TV or furniture tip-over.
But there is hope. While what happened to Amaya was awful and tragic, it was also completely preventable.
There are simple ways to secure both TVs and furniture to the wall with straps or mounts, which can prevent them from tipping over onto a child.
If you have kids, grandkids or other children who visit your home, please check your TVs and furniture to make sure they’re secure.
Don’t let what happened to us happen to someone in your family. No family should have to go through the loss of a child.