Seventh Grader In A Coma After Nearly Drowning In School Pool
A 13-year-old boy is in a coma after nearly drowning at a party put on by his middle school's band and choir booster. Dorothy McElhinney Middle School's band and choir members were invited to an end of the year pool party at Vista Murrieta High School on the evening of Friday, June 3, KTLA reports. During the course of the party, seventh grader Alex Pierce sank to the bottom of the pool's deep end. He was spotted by his peers and one of them, Rylie Spivey, dove in after him only to find him unresponsive.
"I grabbed him and started swimming to the surface," she told KTLA.
Another student, Brian Bonus, also dove in to help her. Bonus told ABC 7, "She was starting to pull him up, so I went down and started helping her pull him up and we pulled him to the surface."
While the party was supervised by chaperones and lifeguards, the students claim that no adults aided Pierce. It took Murrieta Fire Department responders four minutes to arrive, and they say they were the first to perform CPR on the boy. Pierce is believed to have been underwater for about 95 seconds before Spivey and Bonus pulled him out, according to the Press Enterprise.
Pierce remains in a coma at Loma Linda Medical Center. A GoFundMe set up by the family states that his "brain activity is diminishing quickly and unless the hospital has clear signs of life, they will remove him from life support. We need a miracle now."
His parents did receive a court order to keep Pierce on life support for at least another two weeks, according to KTLA.
Murrieta Valley School District released a statement, which reads, in part:
A tragic accident occurred on June 3rd at approximately 6:16 p.m. involving a seventh grade Dorothy McElhinney student. Alex Pierce was with members of the band and choir at Vista Murrieta High School for an end of the school year pool party. The event was sponsored by the Dorothy Mc Elhinney booster club, not the school, Vista Murrieta High School or the school district and it was chaperoned by parent and faculty volunteers, and several high school student lifeguards.
Murrieta police have ruled the incident an accident, saying they've viewed surveillance footage that shows no foul play. It appears that Pierce wandered into the deep end of the pool where he was unable to keep his footing.