United States

Grieving Parents Speak About Swimming Pool Drownings

The girls' parents are trying to raise money for their daughters funerals

The parents of two sisters who drowned in their apartment complex swimming pool shared their grief Wednesday, hoping it saves other families from the same tragedy.

"I'm still thinking that it's a dream, that I would wake up," the girls' mother Mylene Siyo said.

Tears are never far away for the couple as they try to raise money to return the girls' bodies to their native Cameroon, where a large family is waiting for their funeral.

"It's really hard. It's really tough," the girls' father Gildas Mbouna said.

Ivana Mbouna, 7, and Gervina Mbouna, 5, died at the hospital over the weekend after they were discovered in their apartment complex pool Saturday evening.

Their father, who serves in the U.S. Army, was not at home when the accident happened at the Spring Lake Apartments in Haltom City.

His wife left the girls in the care of a family friend who was supposed to be watching them at their apartment.

"My friend is actually a good parent, he has two kids in Africa, too," Gildas Mbouna said.

Haltom City police said Wednesday that their investigation found the girls were playing with other children outside at the complex when they entered the pool area and fell into the water.

A neighbor pulled the girls from the bottom of the pool and tried to revive them with CPR before emergency responders arrived.

The parents said a gate at the swimming pool was left open. The girls did not know how to swim and were never allowed near the water.

"It was the first time, and the last time," Mbouna said.

Speaking in French, through a translator, their mother said other parents should hear this story.

"I loved my two kids," Mylene Siyo said.

Their father said Gervina Mbouna loved the USA and wanted the family to stay here, so the parents said they intended to remain U.S. residents. But he said they did not want to stay in the same apartment complex.

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