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Family shares grief after energetic, playful toddler drowns

Phoenix Rodgers drowned in a pool at Craignish on October 12.
Phoenix Rodgers drowned in a pool at Craignish on October 12. Contributed

THE heartbreak in the eyes of his mum and dad says it all.

Less than a week since 18-month-old Phoenix Rodgers died after being pulled from his family's backyard pool, Stacy Sharrad and Blair Rodgers are still overwhelmed.

As they nursed their six-month old daughter Ariella yesterday, the couple shared their memories of their blond haired, blue eyed boy who they described as a bundle of fun and curiosity.

Man's message for family: You're not alone

"He was full of energy from the moment he woke up to the moment he went to sleep," Blair said.

A doting big brother, the toddler loved spending time around his six-month-old sister and Stacy's older children, Chloe and Jacob.

"He was a loving big brother," Blair said.

"He'd go and give her a kiss or give her a cuddle."

Blair Rodgers and Stacy Sharrad with 6 mth old daughter Ariella. Their 18 mth old son Phoenix drowned in the home pool.
Blair Rodgers and Stacy Sharrad with 6 mth old daughter Ariella. Their 18 mth old son Phoenix drowned in the home pool. Alistair Brightman

The couple had been living in the home at Craignish for a little more than a week when the tragedy happened after moving from an apartment.


Now they don't know if they will ever return.

The couple is staying with Blair's mum and dad until they decide what to do.

Blair said he doesn't want to go back to the house where Phoenix died, while Stacy is worried about where else the family has to go.

When the couple returned to the house for the first time to get some clothes earlier this week, it was too much.

"Stacy walked through the front door, saw some of his stuff and just collapsed."

On October 6, the day Phoenix died, he was inside the house playing with his siblings.

Blair estimates his son was out of sight for two minutes when he was found in the pool.

"He never went near the pool," he said.

Blair Rodgers and Stacy Sharrad with 6 mth old daughter Ariella. Their 18 mth old son Phoenix drowned in the home pool last week.
Blair Rodgers and Stacy Sharrad with 6 mth old daughter Ariella. Their 18 mth old son Phoenix drowned in the home pool last week. Alistair Brightman

Blair had to explain to the older children what had happened to their brother.

"It's so quiet without him," he said.

Blair said sometimes he would pick his son up and when Stacy came into the room, he would immediately want to run to her.

"He loved his mum."

A Go Fund Me Campaign has been organised to help the family pay for their son's funeral. So far $390 has been raised toward a goal of $2000.

To make a donation, click here.

Blair said he was grateful to everyone in the community who was supporting the cause.

The campaign has been shared 131 times on Facebook.

The post underneath the campaign said the money will go towards giving the toddler the best goodbye.

All funds will be given to the funeral home chosen by Phoenix's parents.

Topics:  accident drowning editors picks fctribute fraser coast



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