Four-year-old drowning victim’s parents have warning for others

Posted at 10:07 PM, Jul 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-26 00:07:11-04

The parents of a 4-year-old Colorado Springs boy who drowned in Nebraska’s Lake Minatare want to warn others about the importance of flotation devices.  Messiah White died early Tuesday morning, several days after disappearing under the surface of Nebraska’s Lake Minatare Saturday while on a family vacation.  He was not wearing a flotation device.

Messiah’s mother, Staci, 29, and father, Raymond, 34, say they, Staci’s brother and sister-in-law left the campsite to get supplies for the night, leaving Messiah behind with his six siblings ranging in age from 1 to 15 and Staci’s father.  "About 5 minutes after we left, my brother got a phone call from my dad.  We just heard a bunch of commotion," Staci said.  "About 5 minutes further down the road, we saw an ambulance pass us and my sister-in-law turned to my brother and said, ‘I have a really bad feeling about the kids, call your dad back.’"

"My brother called my dad back and all he could muster up to say was, ‘I’m giving Messiah CPR,’" Staci said.

They quickly turned the vehicle around and followed the ambulance back to the lake.  When they arrived, Messiah had been pulled out of the water, but was in very bad shape.  "They had him laying out on the beach and they wouldn’t let us near him," Staci said.  "They said we wouldn’t want to see him like that."

Messiah was flown to a hospital in Scottsbluff, then flown to Children’s Hospital in Aurora.  It took 45 minutes for medics to restart Messiah’s heart, Staci said.  At 3:00 Tuesday morning, Messiah died.

Staci and Raymond are now advocating strongly for flotation devices for children.  "I truly, honestly, 100 percent believe Messiah’s mission now will be life jackets, flotation devices, any sort of device that will support you in the water," Staci said.  "Even if we save one life, one person says, ‘Oh, let me get that life jacket or let me get that floatie."  "Don’t second guess it, don’t second guess it," Raymond added.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the White family pay for funeral expenses.