It’s been three years since her daughter, Maddie Aldridge, nearly drowned in a tragic ATV accident, and the incident is still excruciating for Jamie Lynn Spears to speak about. The actress, 26, appeared on Maria Menounos‘ Better Together podcast on May 14, and their candid conversation eventually turned to the harrowing 2017 accident. “My oldest daughter was in a, well, she was in a really bad accident,” Jamie Lynn said, immediately tearing up. “We were finally able to get her out of the water, and I saw her, and then the first responders took her from me. We thought we lost our daughter and in that moment I felt everything that you can feel, as far as like, ‘This is the worst thing ever.'”
Maddie was riding an ATV on the family’s Kentwood, Louisiana property in February 2017, and attempted to steer the vehicle away from a drainage ditch. The then eight-year-old “overcorrected,” according to the police report, and rolled over into the pond she was trying to avoid. Still buckled in with a seatbelt and surrounded by protective netting, Maddie was submerged underwater for two minutes as Jamie Lynn and her husband, Jamie Watson, frantically tried to free her. First responders arrived at the scene within minutes and were able to save her. Maddie was hospitalized for a month in critical condition, and is now a happy and healthy 11-year-old with no signs of lasting neurological issues. “There’s nothing worse than looking at your child and thinking that you failed her,” the Sweet Magnolias star told Maria while crying, remembering the agony of trying to get her daughter out of the pond. “I didn’t want her to think that I couldn’t save her, or that I didn’t try to save her.”
The Zoey 101 alum shared the excerpt from the interview on Instagram and explained how chatting about her new Netflix show turned into such an intimate conversation. “Well, we started off talking about #SWEETMAGNOLIAS and how family, community, and faith are the common themes throughout the whole show, which naturally led to me sharing a brief bit about the worst day of me and my family’s life, and how our family, community, and faith is also what got us through those times. Thank you @mariamenounos for having me on #BetterTogether”
Life is good for Jamie Lynn now. Not only did she and her husband welcome another daughter, Ivey Watson, in 2018, but Maddie is thriving! Jamie Lynn recently shared what they’ve been up to while quarantined in Louisiana. Working on their dance moves to the Zoey 101 theme song, obviously!