Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The family of a 5-year-old drowning victim tried many times to teach her the danger of water

BRADENTON, Fla. - A Bradenton family is mourning the loss of a 5-year-old autistic girl who drowned Monday afternoon in the retention pond behind their home.

According to police, the Kesia Kearce slipped out through the home's sliding glass door. Her family never even noticed she was gone.

"First I saw her, then I saw her in the water, then she was gone," said neighbor, Les Shedek.

Shedek jumped in to save her.

"I thought maybe I had her at one point but it was just a big log or something, a branch," he cried.

Brian Byrket, who'd come to the Braden River Lakes subdivision to mow lawns, also dove in.
"It was hard because you want to find her but you don't want to find her at the same time," he explained. "We were hoping for a better outcome but that's what we got."

Norman Kearce admits his daughter loved water. They'd tried many times to teach her its dangers but to no avail.

"They like the feeling of water. In fact, a lot of children with autism may feel more calm in the water. They seem more focused in the water," explained pediatrician Dr. David Berger.  "A child with autism may very well run away from the family."

Dr. Berger calls water a constant attraction and threat for all children, even if they don't suffer from autism. He recommends at least two barriers between a child and water, as well as a door alarm system, as well as the Pool Angel Anti-Drowning Alarm.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

4-year-old autistic boy Aiden Bower drowns in Pasco swimming pool 

Aiden wandered from his home in Florida.

Holiday, Florida - The family of Aiden Bower is devastated after losing their little four-year-old little boy. The child, who suffered from autism, drowned in a neighbor's pool Sunday night around 9 p.m. in the 4200 block of Sail Drive in Holiday. "It was heartbreaking," said Richard Coulett, who lives next door to where the little boy drowned. Coulett watched and prayed as paramedics and deputies tried to breathe life back into the child. "They started working on him, and they worked for about 30 minutes. My heart was in my throat," said Coulett. Sadly, the child got out of his bedroom somehow after his parents tucked him in around 8pm. When they went back to check on him around 9pm, Aiden was gone. The family called 911 immediately and within minutes, deputies arrived to search the area. They began going house to house looking for the little boy. After 15 minutes, one deputy made a heartbreaking discovery. Aiden's body was found floating in an elderly woman's pool, a place he had never visited. Somehow, his parents say, the child was able to open his window and push the screen to the ground. "The woman was devastated. She said she had never seen the boy, and he had never swam in her pool," said Pasco Sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin. Aiden was not the type to wander off, his mother and father told deputies. But, he did suffer from autism. "Everyone is devastated in this case," said Tobin. "The parents, I'm told, did everything they could. The one thing they didn't think of that their child would go through the window." The parents say they did everything they could to keep their son safe, including putting latches on doors. The little boy was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead just before midnight. It is widely known that children who suffer from autism are said to be drawn to water. Psychiatrists say the only problem with that is the children do not understand the dangers and often can not swim. Aiden Bower would have turned five years old in July.