MISS TRISTAN'S STORY
Tristan Lynn Byrd was not part of our plan. We are older parents and were content with the idea of only having one child. McKay was our then four year old daughter. McKay was often asking about a little brother or sister as she was one of the few in her class, that did not have any siblings. We looked into adopting but due to my age in particular, our options were minimal.
All of this changed on February 3, 2013. Yes, it was Super Bowl 47 and we were headed to a party. As my beautiful, 46 year old wife, settled into the party, she found herself in a conversation with some of the women that were there. The topic of discussion was surrounding age and wanting to have more children. Dana was finishing a sentence with "I'm just too old to have another child" as one of the other women expressed that she had many clients in there 50's and that Dana was in-fact not "too old!" This particular party guest happened to be a nurse at a fertility clinic.
Tristan Lynn Byrd was born on January 28, 2014. We were close to losing her at delivery as complications arose and my wife was rushed in for an emergency c-section. At 7:01pm, Tristan was delivered and came into this world, as loud as she could be. She had the most wonderful smile and raucous laugh. She was colicky as an infant and seemed to always have ear infections. When she was 15 months old, we had tubes put in her ears and the ear infections were a thing of the past. Tristan was finally able to enjoy life without pain. Her past tantrums became the things of legend.
Tristan was such an incredibly loving child. We would be hosting a BBQ/Swim party and she would stop whatever she was doing to run and find me or her Mom and yell "Dada, Mommy," give big hugs, and then set off to continue playing. After dinner in the evenings, she would pat the cushions on the sofa and say, "Sit, Dada, sit!" That meant that it was time for daddy to read her a book. Her favorite book of them all was “Brown Bear Brown Bear”. Tristan also loved playing with her baby dolls. She would lay them all out on the kitchen floor and use hand towels, from the kitchen drawer, to cover her dolls up and put them to sleep.
It was quiet the morning of March 25, 2016 (Good Friday) as everyone slept in since it was a school holiday. Dana was planning on visiting the Easter Bunny at the mall, with our girls. When she asked me if I wanted to join them, I said "No, y'all just have a girls day." I planned to attend a yoga class then come straight home to get some work done and get ready for a swimming party at a friends house. The last time I saw Tristan, she was in her closet, playing dolls with Dana and McKay. I did not kiss her and say good-bye as I did not want to interrupt her special playtime with mom & sis.
The very next time I saw my sweet little girl was triggered when our nanny began screaming. Miss Tristan was found floating in the spa portion of our pool. I began to administer CPR, but to no avail. Our family was broken in an instant. When Dana and I returned from the hospital, we told McKay what had happened to her sister. McKay looked right at me and said, "Daddy, Jesus died today and he took Tristan with him to heaven."
Now our lives are devoted to drowning prevention through Miss Tristan Foundation. Miss Tristan is working to get water safety into the pre-K ciriculum in San Antonio schools. Miss Tristan also works with pool and fence companies to make pool barriers and gate/door alarms affordable to people with backyard pools. Before Tristan's accident we had no idea that drowning was the leading cause of accidental death for children under 4 years of age. We had no idea how quickly it could happen.