Greenwood family remembers daughter after Memorial Day weekend drowning

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GREENWOOD, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A Greenwood family is mourning the loss of their daughter after she drowned in their family pool over Memorial Day weekend.

“She noticed the gate was open,” said her mom, Tori. “It looked like she had grabbed a floatie and got in and maybe lost grip of the floatie, and she was gone.”

Kayleigh and her mom, Tori

Kayleigh Dodson’s family describes her as someone who was full of life and never met a stranger.

She was my best friend.”

-RYAN DODSON, DAD OF KAYLEIGH

Kayleigh had autism and was non-verbal, but her grandmother, Kim said this did not keep her from being the most vibrant little girl she ever met.

“Kayleigh filled a hole in my heart that I didn’t know was there, because we have 17 grandchildren, but that hole is now a crater,” Kim said. “She was my best friend.”

Kayleigh was just nine years old, but left her family with countless memories and lessons to remember. Every lesson revolving around one key thing: love.

Love the way that she loved. If you see someone that’s sad just give them a hug, because that’s what she did.”

-TORI DODSON, MOM OF KAYLEIGH

The family said this all just happened in an instant. Since then, they have removed the pool from the backyard and are replacing it with a garden solely to remember Kayleigh.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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