A day of summer fun turned tragic when a 6-year old boy drowned in a wave pool while visiting a Florida water park on Aug. 3.
The young boy was pulled from the wave pool, according to officials. The incident occurred around 12:45 p.m at Daytona Lagoon, a water park located in Daytona Beach, Florida, according to Fox News.
Upon discovery, lifeguards pulled the child out of the pool and performed life-saving maneuvers including CPR. Some water park guests, including a doctor, assisted lifeguards in performing chest compressions, according to an eyewitness who spoke to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
“They were working on him for a long time,” Colette Jeffrey of Atlanta told the newspaper. “It was awful.”
EMTs arrived on the scene shortly after. First responders transported the boy to the nearby Halifax Health Medical Center. Despite their best efforts, the child passed away en route to the hospital.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family right now,” Tyler Currie, General Manager of Daytona Lagoon said in a statement released on Facebook. “This is a tragedy that leaves us all with heavy hearts.”
“We are grateful for the support of our trained lifeguards and teams of medical technicians onsite,” Currie added in the post. “We are also fortunate that a guest, who was a doctor, also stepped up to assist alongside the team.”
“We are completing a thorough review of the incident and cooperating with local authorities, as the safety of our guests is and remains a top priority.”
An example of summertime fun gone tragically wrong, these water park accidents are not entirely unprecedented. In a separate incident, the mother of a 10-year-old Michigan girl who emerged without a heartbeat at the end of a water park slide spoke about the horrifying experience.
“The slide she went down has a heartbeat sound at the top that my husband said made it even scarier. Who would have ever thought she would come out the bottom without one?” said the girl’s mother, Tina, via The Sun.
London Eisenbeis had waited two years until she was finally tall enough to go on this particular water slide. It is the biggest slide at Zehnder’s Splash Village and has a 48-inch minimum height requirement.
“London looked at her dad, gave two thumbs up and smiled, went down the slide and came out in cardiac arrest,” Tina told The Sun. “The excitement threw her rhythm.”
Tina sat on the other side of the park to wait for her husband and two children. Tina realized something was wrong when she saw horrified faces near the area where the slide ends after its 273-foot long course.
“I heard a whistle go off,” Tina told The Sun. “I was like, ‘Oh, there’s probably kids messing around.’ But within maybe minutes I started seeing women looking terrified. One woman was walking with two children, grabbing them.” The woman told Tina frightening news, but Tina wasn’t sure whether or not it involved someone in her family. “She said, ‘Somebody’s drowned over there.’ I kind of got nervous.”
Tina wanted to call her husband but realized she had his phone. She stood up and walked closer, noticing that the park had put up white sheets. Then she realized it was one of her kids.
Happy Fathers Day to the best dad i could ask for! You do everything for me and I appreciate it. Your so busy all the time because of you taking care of me so Father’s Day is the time to say thank you for that ❤️
It turns out that London had a heart condition, of which the family was unaware. “The day before she had been doing flips in the air,” Tina told The Sun.
London was taken to the hospital and put on life support after the February 2018 tragedy. She had already suffered severe brain damage due to the initial cardiac arrest. She suffered a second cardiac arrest while at the hospital.
“I would have taken her home with the brain damage but I’m glad she made that choice for us,” Tina told The Sun. “She fought for nine days in hospital … then she gained her angel wings.”