A 23-month-old girl has died almost a week after she was pulled unconscious with her twin brother from a backyard swimming pool in Sydney’s northwest.
The death on Boxing Day marks a tragic end to Christmas for the twins’ family who have been at their bedside since they were discovered in the Kellyville Ridge pool around 7pm last Tuesday.
NSW police say the little girl died in hospital on Monday, while her brother is still in a critical condition and undergoing treatment.
The toddlers were rushed to the Children’s Hospital at Westmead under police escort on December 20 where they were put on life support.
News of the tragic event had spread through the community, with a Rouse Hill Catholic church holding a special prayer service and urging parishioners to keep the twins in their hearts.
“We hope you can join in this united call for God’s blessing on these babies,” the church posted on its Facebook page on December 23.
“At this blessed time of the Christmas season can we please pray … to our Lord to bless these toddlers and give them the strength they need to recover,” a family friend, who was hoping for a “Christmas miracle”, posted on her personal page.
The toddlers are the youngest of six children in the family and their mother was heard screaming for help after making the discovery, the Seven Network reported.
A neighbour who assisted with CPR said she didn’t think she’d ever have to use her emergency training.
“But by seven o’clock I was in there doing the best I could possibly do to keep those children going,” she previously told reporters.
Police have said the family’s pool fence seemed to be adequate and reminded parents to remain vigilant.
The Australian Medical Association has echoed the comments, saying the recent spate of backyard pool tragedies is a sad reminder of how dangerous water can be for children.
“Children, particularly toddlers, are naturally curious and drawn to water.
And while it’s easy to get distracted, we need to be extra vigilant when kids are near pools,” AMA NSW president Professor Brad Frankum said.