|‘I tried my best’
Bonnie Joseph Jr. would have remained a victim of near drowning had the nine-year-old received immediate medical care, says the mother of his classmate during whose birthday celebrations the tragedy took place on Tuesday.
She said she had tried her best to save Joseph Jr after she and three other boys pulled him out of the water.
One of the boys, also a classmate of Joseph Jr, said the accident happened in seconds. “He was playing in the big pool when I was in the baby pool with my sister. When I came out of the water I saw him jumping into the water. I didn’t see him for some time when I was wiping myself dry. Then I saw the water turning brownish there and Bonnie floating,” the child recollected.
The birthday boy’s mother said Joseph Jr was alive and vomiting when he was rescued.
“I was very much there, but I really didn’t see him drowning. He was playing and he was not in the deep waters. After some time I heard the children screaming that Bonie is floating.”
“He was breathing and his heart was beating when we took him out. I cleaned his mouth and nose and we pushed his stomach to bring out the water.”
Breaking down into tears several times while speaking to Khaleej Times, she said her sister, the sister’s maid and a couple of other women were also present at that time. “We called the gym trainer at the building for help and we did the maximum we could ... he was alive when the paramedics came. We thought we would save him. But it didn’t happen even after they gave him first aid and took him to the hospital.”
His classmate said Joseph Jr. had said he had forgotten to bring spare clothes for playing in the pool.
The woman said he had told her that he knew how to swim and he would take care of himself while at the pool. “Then he wore my husband’s half pants.”
She said she had taken good care of all the children and had told all of them to get their parents’ permission to play in the pool in the apartment where her family had moved in about two months back.
“It was not a birthday bash, not even a big party. It was just a small get together of my son’s friends for his birthday. Unfortunately this tragedy took place. Nobody ever imagined such a thing would happen. I’m shattered and my son is still in trauma. He can’t eat, he can’t sleep ... he is having nightmares. Bonnie was his best friend and for me he was like my son. It’s a huge loss for me also and I really don’t how we will live with this grief.”