Devastated mom shares heartache after twin toddlers drown in babysitter's pool

Cheryl Kahla
Jan 21, 2019
11:41 A.M.
Share this pen

A mother from Tennessee who lost two children in a drowning incident opened up about her loss.


As reported by Knox News, twins Elijah and Elyssa Orejuela drowned in their daycare center's swimming pool. The toddlers would have celebrated their 2nd birthday in August.

The twins were in a babysitter's care at the time of the incident, who rushed them to the hospital when she found them unconscious in the deep of end of the pool.

Elyssa died soon after the twins were rescued from the pool, but Elijah was still alive, and medical personnel worked frantically to save his life.


A GoFundMe campaign was created to cover his medical expenses. At the time of writing, 633 people donated $37,785 of the $50,000 goal. Read more on our Twitter, @amomama_usa.

Unfortunately, Elijah also passed away and his mother, Amelia Weiland, told the press that "Elijah has gone to be with his sister Elyssa."


"I can’t thank you enough for the support we have been given knowing that our babies were loved by so many and touched others’ lives."

Amelia Weiland, Knox News, July 24, 2018.

She added that the twins had a strong bond and that Elyssa was Elijah's other half. One simply would not have been able to survive without the other.


According to People, the center where the children drowned were ordered via an injunction to cease operations due to a licensing issue.

The center also received numerous complaints in the past because the owner, Jennifer Salley, was not licensed to take more than four children in her care for periods longer than three hours.

A state worker also paid an unexpected visit to the center and found two children unattended and in unsanitary conditions. The center didn't respond to People's request to comment.