Austin Sonetti, pictured while in treatment, died on May 16, 2014, more than 9 years after nearly drowning. (Photo provided by the Sonetti family)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
A boy who was revived after nearly drowning in a swimming pool as a toddler has died after nearly a decade of health challenges.
In July 2013, FOX5 visited with the family of Austin Sonetti, 10, as he was being brought home after a 19-day stay in the Intensive Care Unit of Summerlin Hospital.
According to the boy's parents, Austin Sonetti fell into his grandfather's pool during a birthday party on April 23, 2005 when he was 1 year old.
"He didn't have a pulse. He was completely lifeless," said his mother, Cierra Sonetti.
Though he was brought back to life, he suffered brain damage and had to be bedridden. In addition, his family said his vegetative state throughout his life led to recurrent pneumonia and other health problems.
The boy's family said Austin Sonetti passed away early Friday.
Since the incident in 2005, Cierra Sonetti became an advocate for awareness on the dangers of swimming pools and children. She said accidents like what happened to Austin are preventable.
She told FOX5 she would like to see proper pool fencing for the more than 100,000 residential swimming pools in the Las Vegas Valley, constant adult supervision for children around pools, and more people knowing CPR to prevent a similar incident from occurring.
A memorial fund for Austin Sonetti was also established to pay for medical funeral costs. Donations may be made at any U.S. Bank branch for "Austin Sonetti" under account No. 153756200777, routing No. 121201694.
Copyright 2014 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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