Eva LaRue recalls the day her daughter almost drowned

05/05/2008 at 08:50 AM ET

Eva_larue_79979316cbbjpgCSI: Miami’s Eva LaRue has played the character of Natalia Boa Vista since 2005, but she almost didn’t get the part. Prior to the audition, Eva and her daughter Kaya McKenna, now 6 ½, visited their friends Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos for a family vacation and she experienced a parent’s worst nightmare.

I was out in the Hamptons with Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark and the kids [Michael, Lola and Joaquin] and Kaya, and they were all playing in the Hamptons.

I was supposed to get back into New York City to audition for CSI: Miami, and I didn’t end up getting back in time because Kaya and Lola were playing in the little pond part, not quite the ocean, but it’s like a pond that’s right off the ocean in the Hamptons.

Kaya had stepped off an underwater ledge and was literally drowning like 50 yards away from us. Lola was standing on the ledge, and standing knee deep in the water. We couldn’t figure out, we were like, maybe Kaya’s swimming. We stood there and watched her, for the longest time, not realizing that she’s drowning.

Then we both realized at the same time, Kelly and I are running stripping through the water. Kelly got to her before I did and pulled her out of the water, so I didn’t end up going to the audition. I was like, forget it, I’m not going, I’m too traumatized, like oh my god, my kid almost died while I sat there and watched her. So I didn’t go.

Kaya’s father is actor John Callahan.

Source: The TV Addict; Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images.

What has been your scariest "mommy moment?"

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kim on

that almost was exactly like my experience with my now 11 yr old. When he was 3 we were at a family gathering and he had the floaties on his arm and we were watching him, he came out of the water sat down with us adults. Next thing we knew he was gone and the floaties were still with us. We were all running up and down the beach when my SIL saw him by the rope and swam out to get him.I thought I had lost my baby and completely freaked out. It all worked out in the end but you can guarantee I never let him out of my sight again.

Amber H. on

Scary! I am a very paranoid Mommy when it comes to my daughter and water and she’s not quite 2 yet. I was trying to multitask the night before her 1st birthday party. I put her in the bathtub and sat on the floor beside her to scrub the toilet and the floor. I am watching her and cleaning…next thing I know she slides under the water! I am trying to grab her out of the water but she is so slippery from the bubble bath. All of maybe 3 seconds pass and I get her out wrapped in a towel and collapse against the wall. She is gagging and vomiting up soapy water. I have never, ever been more freaked as I was that night and I was literally RIGHT THERE! I have always done nothing but sit at the side of the tub and play with her toys with her while she takes a bath since that awful night.

Amanda C on

That story gave me the chills. I have not had to experience a moment like that ( I have a 6 year old and a 7 month old) and I pray to God that I never will. It is one of my greatest fears. I cry when ever I hear of a parent losing their child (or in this case, almost losing a child, which the fear is the same).

Casey on

The day my youngest came home from the hospital, we put him in his bed and experiencing all the first night jitters. About 3am, something woke me.. just kinda woke. I looked over just to check on my new little man, and he was purple. I ripped him up and he started flailing. I flipped him over onto his stomach and he started breathing again. We called 911 and while they were on their way, he did it two times more. Eventually was diagnosed with severe reflux and esophageal spasms. But scared the crap out of me.

Diane on

With 5 kids…. too many to count!

Stephanie on

This is scary! PS- How many times did she bring up “The Hamptons”???

Melanie F. on

I’m glad her daughter was okay.

@Casey that is the exact same thing that happened to my daughter when she was 5 months old. Something just woke me up in the middle of the night and she was stiff and had stopped breathing too. Thank God I did though, it was very scary.

Maddie on

I know my mom’s scariest moment! I was 4 and running around the pool, slipped, cracked my head open and sunk to the bottom of the pool. She dived in and had to give me CPR and call 911. They got me to the hospital and I was in and out of consciousness but after a day of observation I was ok, just a concussion! Scared the crap out of her though!!

CTBmom on

When my son was not quite 2 year-old, as we were leaving the mall, some store employee placed a handfull of hard candies in his lap. I looked at the woman like she was nuts and gathered them all up and was VERY careful to make sure I got them all up and I placed them in my purse. I then put my son in his carseat and placed his diaper bag and my purse on the floor of the backseat, got in the car and headed home. Most of the time I would put on some music, but thank God I didn’t that day because about halfway home I heard soft gagging noises and I looked in my rearview mirror and my son was turning blue!! I pulled the car over and grabbed him, that’s when I noticed my purse was pulled up on the seat next to him (I guess my purse strap must have been within his grasp). I realized then that he had gotten a hold of the candies and so, I threw him over my lap and pounded his back and after several long horrifying seconds the piece candy popped out. I have never been so scared in my life! From then on, I made sure my purse was in the front seat with me.

heather on

A couple of months ago, I went for a run with my husband and two kids. WE decided to hit the grocery store before we got home. My little one ended up falling asleep and was kind of slumped over on her big brother in the stroller. Thank goodness he didn’t have a problem with it.
When we went to cross the crosswalk, with the walk light on, and all of the cars stopped, one of the drivers suddenly decided to go , when we were fully in the crosswalk. We don’t know what happened, because she knew we were there; we had both made eye contact with her before stepping into the crosswalk. Worst thing was, when she hit the stroller, she didn’t stop going. My husband was yelling at her and slapping the top of her truck, and she finally stopped. Because of the way that traffic was, I had to climb over the top of where the stroller was under the truck. We pushed the frame out from under the truck, and thank God, because the baby had been asleep, slouched over on her brother, she was okay. I was scared to death. I could hardly stand up- was just so glad my kids were okay. Also, the stroller held up so well, it protected her. It is a schwinn biketrailer/jogging stroller, and the frame held up when the truck smashed it, only the wheel on the opposite side was totally ruined.
Just be very careful of drivers. We were very visible, with a big buggy and a big orange flag. We waited for the walk signal, we made eye contact with the driver in the right lane…everything we should have done. Scariest part, this is something I worried about since the first time I stepped out with my little boy in a stroller. I have always been so careful to look both ways, keep the stroller close to me, etc.

brooke on

That’s so scary, thank god kaya was ok. I wish more pics of kaya would be posted here, that child is stunning. She has long light brown hair and blue eyes. There’s a commerical for ovarian cancer that eva and kaya are on, on the lifetime channel, so cute. Eva is also the godmother of kelly’s older son michael, kelly and her have been friends for many years.

Natasha on

OMG Heather, Amber…okay EVERYONE! I pray I won’t ever have anything like that happen!

chatty cricket on

OMG, I’m sure it felt like an ETERNITY while she was trying to figure out what was going on. HOW VERY SCARY. We had a similar situation with our daughter, I was two feet away from her in a pool and she stepped off the last step and the water was just too high. It took a minute for me to register what my eyes were seeing, and then I just grabbed her right out of the water. I actually felt like I spent time processing my thoughts, but my husband swears I grabbed her the second she went under. I’m sure Eva and Kelly got to Kaya in record time, but it probably felt like everything was in slow motion. Ugh.

sil on

My daughter was almost two, and she was playing in the living room, i was watching tv and my husband at the computer,then all of a sudden i heard a noise and i saw the home theater speaker on the floor and as soon as my baby looked down to the floor lot’s of blood drops began to fall from her head….i thought she broke her head in two….After 1 minute she was all cover up with blood, then we cleaned her and realize it was not a big wound, so we took her to the hospital and thanks God it was just a small thing, but I was sooo scared….I was crying all the time.

kim on

Heather, did the driver get into any trouble of that accident?? Just wondering, I would think somethng would have been done, even though it was an accident..

Christine on

When my eldest was about 15mos old (he’s 7 now), I was putting laundry away in my bedroom and he climbed into our shower stall and unbeknownst was able to reach my razor. He walked out with the blade end in his mouth. I thought I was going to be sick.
I walked over to him and gently said “Open up”
The cap was still on!
We bought a new shower caddy and the razors are never below our shoulder level nor are the caps ever left off.

Dana on

Oh, my heart breaks just reading Eva’s story, and everyone else’s close moments.

Last year, when my oldest was in kindergarten, I had a scary moment. She was waiting for the bus. She knew the rules about waiting for the driver to wave her on before crossing the street. I had just gotten over my extreme fear of letting her cross without me. The bus was pulling to a stop and I gave her a kiss and ran off up the driveway to catch my 3-year old. As I got to the top of the driveway, time suddenly stopped. I turned to wave good-bye to her. The bus driver waved her on. The car coming the other way decided to speed up instead of completely stopping. My daughter jumped back at the last minute, because she had dropped her sweater. The guy in the car zipped past at about 50 miles an hour. I couldn’t breathe for about an hour after that. I have never let her cross the street by herself again.

Katie on

My daughter had a Johnny Jump-Up and used to love bouncing in it. Then one day it fell. She fell to her knees and pitched forward, landing face first on the tile floor. Her grandfather was only a few feet away and was watching her, but he couldn’t get to her in time to catch her. I heard him start shouting and turned around to see my four-month-old lying face down on the tile not moving. I felt like my heart jumped up and out of my body, I completely panicked. I know it’s illogical, but I thought she was dead. I was further away from her than her grandfather but I managed to race over there and scoop her up first. Once I picked her up, the hysterics started. I had never been happier to hear a crying baby in my life. Everyone ran over and tried to help and all I could do was shout “GET AWAY” and ran off to the back room to comfort her an evaluate her injuries. I didn’t mean to shout, but I was in major primal mommy mode (and she was in major baby meltdown mode!). She was completely hysterical, choking on her sobs. I was relieved that she was crying and alive, but I hadn’t had time to check if anything was broken/fractured/bleeding/etc.

I know it’s a small incident, but I thought she was dead when I saw her lying there. Luckily she escaped with only a small bump on her forehead! I had been staying about a mile away from my parents at the time but spent the next three days there and kept my daughter in bed with me. I didn’t have a car, and I figured that with the possible complications can follow a head injury, it’d be safest to keep her with my 24/7 to monitor her and to be around people who could drive me to a hospital if anything happened.

Julie on

When my twins were 4 months old, I put my little guy in his swing to let him nap. Then I set my little girl PROPPED IN A BOPPY PILLOW ON THE COUCH just long enough to turn around and get her bouncy bassinet ready for her. She wasn’t even close to rolling over, but the moment I turned away from her, I heard a thud, and it was the most sickening sound I’ve ever heard. She had fallen off the couch and landed face down on the wood floor and the Boppy was on top of her. I grabbed her so fast, not even thinking about possible neck injury and that maybe I shouldn’t move her. She started screaming, her nose was bleeding, I was sobbing. I’m a nurse, so I did a quick neuro check and she seemed ok, but the pediatrician wanted me to bring her in anyway. I raced to the Dr’s office, running red lights and everything. She was fine. But the moral of the story is, when the Boppy tags warn you to NEVER leave them unattended, heed the warning!!! I don’t know how many times I left them swaddled up and tucked into the Boppy on the couch when they were teeny tiny, but there comes a time when they WILL be able to move from the Boppy!!! Very scary for me. For about a month, every time I thought about it, I cried. NEVER LEAVE THEM ALONE IN THE BOPPY! It’s not Boppy’s fault, it was mine.

sinclair on

I was thinking the same thing….Maybe she wants everyone to know where the Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmmmptons (*insert snooty UES accent here*) is/are.

And the audition–yeah, i would hope she didn’t go, her kid almost drowning and all.

carla on

Well here’s a ‘funnier’ one for y’all to clear the tension of these horrific stories!

my sister once sat down onto the barbecue while it was still on after we ate. she must have thought it was a chair or something, she must have been about two. my parents immediately put her in a bucket of water. thank god the thing was already quite cold and she never even had a scar.

nona on

These stories are scary to read, but I did, to be aware of any dangers I haven’t thought about. I don’t have kids myself, but I’m a caregiver. I’ve had a couple frightening experiences in that, though.

When I worked at a day care center, we were feeding the toddlers lunch. There were about eight of them at the table, and two adults supervising. You try to watch each of them at once, but all of a sudden, one of the kids was turning blue. He was choking. I panicked, kind of in shock–not very useful, but the other teacher got the food dislodged, and the boy was fine. I was 19 or 20, a little naive, I hope I’d handle it better now.

Another time, I was helping at a gathering, where the adults were watching a movie, and the kids (mostly 2 year olds) were playing downstairs. I led two kids (a boy and girl) through the kitchen, and before I could analyze the situation, they were two footsteps ahead of me at the top of the stairs. The girl pushed the boy, and he tumbled all the way down the (carpeted) flight. I felt so helpless watching it happen. In hindsight, I should have been in front of them, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t. Luckily, the boy just had a swollen lip. I swear he tumbled head over feet a few times. Sometimes, babies are so resilient!

When I was 1, I pushed my baby brother down a flight of stairs in his walker. These days, most parents would put up a gate, and hopefully not leave a toddler and an infant together out of reach. But he seems to be okay now, for a frat boy type. 😉

Penny on

All these stories are so scary. I think everyone has or know of someone who has had an experince simillar to these. I work at a daycare and one of the moms came in with her son who was about 15 months. He had a bandage on his hand and what had happend was they were in a hotel room and the child was walking around. One of there older children went to the bathroom and the 15mo had his finger in the door. When the door slammed shut(especially some heavy doors close so fast)his pinky got caught and almost cut of the tip of his pinky. It cut at about the first knuckle closest to the tip but it wasn’t all the way off. They rushed him to the hospital and had to have it sown shut back on. Even though i wasn’t there i knew the little boy and felt so bad and that feeling of scariness inside me. I wanted to tell this one because there wasn’t a mention of this type of story yet. You should always watch your childrens fingers around doors because they can slip in there so fast.Very scary

Nicole on

Oh how I feel for Eva…your heart stops and you either react or freeze, its called mommy instincts…I was at work, my husband had called earlier, he was playing with my girls and they were jumping onto the piles of clothes in my room (I was cleaning out the closets)laughing and playing…..45 minutes later, I received another call, I am still at work, he was screaming that she had a gash (my oldest who is 4) and there was blood everywhere….I bolted and rushed to the ER to meet them. Apparently, she had been watching Alice in Wonderland, so she stood on a chair like the Queen and was bossing her sister about “her roses” and she jumped off the chair onto a pile of clothes….there was a kids small wooden chair next to the pile of clothes and she smashed her forehead into the chair, missing the pile of clothes she was jumping on….Blood pouring everywhere, my husband said she looked like the movie Carrie, she was screaming and blood was flying everywhere, he had to find out WHERE the blood was coming from, it was her forehead, she had to have 5 stitches and she is fine but she is deathly afraid of the chair in our room that she jumped off of and she is much more cautious than she used to be….as for both my husband and I we understand that kids get hurt but it is SO different when it is YOUR kid.

I also used to teach swim lessons, PLEASE EVERYONE MAKE YOUR CHILDREN WATER SAFE AND WATCH THEM AT ALL TIMES BY ANY BODY OF WATER!! It breaks my heart to hear of stories where children have drowned! As we all know it only takes seconds for something to happen. Just my water safety minute for all parents!

Stef on

I’ve heard so many stories like this–kids are so resiliant, I think they’re made of rubber.

When I was 3, we were staying at a hotel, and my dad was walking with us to the pool. At the sight of the pool, I got so excited that I ran forward and fell right into the deep end. My dad had to dive in and catch me. My mom says in the split second that happened, she remembers looking down and seeing two ponytails floating straight up and two big green eyes looking around in confusion. LOL
Another time, we were at the bank, and we went into a crosswalk during a red light. I started walking ahead but my mom saw this car come flying around the corner. She reached out and grabbed me by the shoulder and whipped me backwards, and I just missed being hit by the car, which didn’t even stop for the red light.
Recently, my sis and her two kids were swimming in an outdoor pool in Florida when someone realized that a Coral snake was in the pool. Everyone jumped out, but my niece was swimming around the deep end, making her way to the ladder. My sister saw the snake heading towards my niece and, even though she was recovering from a broken shoulder, picked my niece up and threw her to the other side of the pool. My niece misinterpreted this as my sister throwing her back to the snake and got very upset. LOL Fortunately, no one was hurt and the snake was removed.
The one that I find most amazing is my friend’s daughter who was just becoming mobile when she slipped away and fell down a flight of stairs–stairs without carpeting. The mom ran to catch her, but was only able to see her fall. She sat there in shock but the baby, upon reaching the bottom of the stairs, started laughing and wasn’t hurt AT ALL. Made of rubber. Seriously.

Bella Mama on

just reading about Eva’s scary experience made me tear up alittle.. how horrific!

melanie on


about a year ago my daughters were visiting their dad in chicago(we live in l.a.) and they went to a park. i was in the hot tub back in l.a. just relaxing when my ex calls me in a panic..i pick up the phone and he’s like screaming saying “I CANT FIND HER I CANT FIND HER!!”..i jumped so far out of the tub..i was like “what are you talking about who??” then he said “COULTYN..SHE WAS HERE AND NOW SHE’S GONE..I CANT FIND HER!” i was absolutely hysterical i couldnt stop cussing and crying..i called my mom who also lives in chi. and she went to the park to meet Logan and get our other baby. i didnt know what to do..i have no family in l.a. so i just sat on the phone with my sister(who was back in chi.)..thank God there are still good people in the world because this lovely man asked Coultyn where she lived and she said “with my mommy”..so she took him back to the park..it turns out Co had followed the man’s dog home from the park while daddy wasnt watching her..ever since i’ve been really skeptical about letting my daughters spend another few weeks with their dad unless my mom goes over there 10 times a day!!!
when my girls got back home i asked Co why she follwed the dog back home and she said she didnt want him to be scared to walk by himself…she’s so sweet but scared the crap out of me !!