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Heroic girl drowns trying to save cousin at a swimming party

Gabby Macalino, a grade 4 student of Poveda, was at a swimming party last Sunday together with a 5-year-old cousin. Gabby knew how to swim well, but her younger cousin did not.

Our hearts broke when we received a Viber message about a heroic 9-year-old girl who died trying to save her cousin from drowning.

The message explains that Gabby Macalino, a grade 4 student of Poveda, was at a swimming party last Sunday together with a 5-year-old cousin. Gabby knew how to swim well, but her younger cousin did not.

Although there were adults nearby, they realized too late that the two children were drowning. Gabby's mother, a doctor, administered Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as soon as they were out of the water.

By the time they got to the nearest hospital, Gabby was no longer responsive. The message says that all her organs were bleeding already. Life support was the only that was keeping her alive.

A mother's farewell

On Monday, her mother Ayzel made the difficult decision to pull the plug. Her cousin who was in the intensive care unit (ICU) died a few days after.

In a Facebook post, Gabby's mom asked everyone to continue praying for the two children. She ended with a message to her daughter, "I will forever long for you, baby. You will always be my baby. Everyday wouldn't be the same now. I love you MEYMENG ko SO VERY much! To the moon and back. To infinity and beyond."

Remind children to call for help

Swimming parties are fun but safety should always be the top priority. Hire a life guard (to untrained eyes, drowning looks like a game), be in the pool with your kids (it is easier to be distracted when you are outside the pool), and strictly enforce safety rules like no running around the pool area. And just like not making bomb jokes in airports, no joking around about drowning or needing help.

Also, remind the children to call for help when they see someone in trouble. No matter how well they can swim, they are not strong enough to save someone who is drowning, who may pull them down in an effort to get some air.

READ: Can you spot the drowning child?

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