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Benefit dinner scheduled Sunday for families of pool accident victims

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The morning of Oct. 5 started out the same for both the Flynn and Resor families.

After cousins Annie Flynn and Jaxon “Jax” Flynn were dropped off at a home daycare in the 15000 block of West Road in Pittsfield Township, their parents said their good-byes and drove to work, fully expecting to see their children at the end of the day.

No one expected the morning of Oct. 5 would be the last time they’d be able to hold and kiss little Annie, the daughter of Zach and Sydnie Flynn.

Nor did they think they’d be visiting Jaxon, the son of Matt Flynn and Tiana Resor, in a room at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland by day’s end.

Both Annie, 22 months, and Jaxon, 23 months, were discovered in an above ground pool on the property shortly before 10:30 a.m. Capt. Rick Thomas of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office said.

Life-saving measures were administered to both toddlers, but for Annie, it was too late.

“They said because how bad Annie was, they believe she fell in first,” her father Zach Flynn said. “We come from a close tight nit family. Even Annie and Jax were best friends. Someone would go somewhere, the other would tag along. I think Jax tried to help her and he couldn’t.”

And even though Annie died, Zach Flynn said he would never put the pain and suffering he feels every day of his life on anyone.

“No, I could never put that on my brother, Matt,” Flynn said. “He was the first person to arrive after the doctor called (her death) and even when they Life Flighted Jax, he stayed with me while I held Annie’s hand in that hospital bed.”

Annie was a “daddy’s girl.”

Annie’s mom, Sydnie Flynn, spent seven months of the past year at U.S. Army’s Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri for basic training, leaving Zach Flynn to play the role of both mom and dad to Annie.

“I was working 50 to 60 hours a week in five days, plus being a mom and dad. Annie and I have always done everything together,” he said. “I was the guy that it didn’t matter what I had to do, I brought my daughter.”

Sydnie Flynn still cannot bring herself to talk about Annie.

Jax spent nearly one month recovering at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children Hospital in Cleveland. He was discharged on Nov. 4.

Flynn, who is also Jax’s uncle, said his nephew was in a medical induced coma for the first few days. He was required to wear a neck brace and use a breathing tube due to lung damage.

The family was preparing for the worse as doctors told them there was brain damage. They were told Jax may never wake up on his own; never talk again; or move.

“In a week, he started to do it all,” Flynn said. “He still needs his drinks thickened though so he doesn’t aspirate and his balance is still off a bit, but he walks around like normal. His speech is still coming back.”

As a way to offer their support, several friends of the Flynn and Resor families are joining forces to host a benefit.

A spaghetti dinner will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Wellington Eagles #2051, located at 631 S. Main St.

Tickets to the family-friendly event are $15 for adults; $8 for children ages 12 and under; and children under the age of 2 are free of charge. Tickets can be purchased at Salon Image, 225 N. Main St., Wellington.

The event will feature raffle baskets, kid’s carnival games and a 50/50 raffle.

“Being young parents is hard enough, losing your child even as an adult is the hardest thing for anybody to go through,” family friend Jaime Lynn Leiby said. “Even if you decide you can’t donate, please pray for Jax and also for the family. They need any type of support they can get.”

Flynn is in awe of the generous support the Wellington community has shown his family.

“The benefit is a mind-blowing thing to me,” he said. “I go places and find people know me and just cover my tab. Then they just talk to me. Everyone in my community just impresses me with everything they’ve done and sacrificed for my family.”

After all that has happened, Flynn has just one message to parents, daycare providers and guardians: baby proof your home and property.

“Even with the sitter’s horrible amount of negligence, if she would have taken the proper child precautions with that pool, nothing would have happened,” Flynn said. “(Because) every time Jax sees me and looks at me, he puts his hands up like he is wondering and saying, “Where’s Annie?’”

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @MLinebrinkCT.



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