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Family praying for child’s recovery

By Staff | Feb 24, 2011

As one Cape Coral child remains hospitalized following a near-drowning Monday, her family is praying for her recovery.
Genesis Franco, 2, was in critical condition Thursday at Health Park Hospital, according to her mother. Carolina Franco said she, her husband and her other daughter, 8-year-old Melissa Paredes, were home when the incident occurred.
Genesis was playing on the lanai when she fell into the pool, her mother said.
“She just fell,” Franco said.
“Everything happened so fast,” she added. “It was an accident.”
Carlos Franco jumped in the pool and pulled Genesis out. The child was not conscious and was not breathing, according to the police report. As Carlos began to perform CPR on Genesis, Franco called 911. Medics soon arrived.
“They showed up really quick,” she said.
Genesis was transported to the hospital, where she remained Thursday.
“She’s still hanging in there,” Franco said, adding that the family has faith that Genesis will be OK.
“We are strong believers. We believe in the power of Jesus Christ,” she said. “We’ve been praying, we’ve been fasting for her. I know he’s going to do it.”
As Genesis’ family holds out for her recovery, officials are urging those who watch over small children to be extra vigilant to avoid a potential tragedy.
The Department of Children and Families reported that there have been three water-related accidents in Southwest Florida involving children within the past week. One child died, one recovered and the third is in the hospital.
“A child can drown in less than five minutes,” Erin Gillespie, a spokeswoman for the DCF, said.
Children should never be left unattended in or near a body of water.
Those watching children need to remember to never take their eyes off a child who is near any body of water. Drownings occur in pools, canals and the ocean, but they can also occur in the bathtub, toilet and buckets of water.
“Small children can actually drown in two inches of water,” Gillespie said.
On Feb. 15, a 15-month-old girl drowned in Collier County after she was left unattended in a bathtub. The next day, a 4-year-old in the Cape was riding a bike around a pool on the patio of a residence when the child and bike fell in.
A relative told police that just a few minutes had gone by when she looked out at the pool and saw the child floating facedown in the water. The relative pulled the child from the pool and called 911, according to the
police report.
The youth was transported to the Cape Coral Hospital.
Gillespie reported that the child recovered.
“One family was very lucky, but two were not,” she said.
Every year Florida loses more children under the age of 5 to drownings than any other state. Annually, about 75 children — enough to fill four pre-school classrooms — will drown in Florida, while the state will record
more than 200 near-drowning incidents.
“Children under 5, the risk is higher because they may not be able to keep themself above the water,” Gillespie said. “Generally, most children over that age can swim well.”
Last year, DCF investigated the deaths of eight children who drowned. In 2009, it reviewed four deaths. The year before that, DCF investigated eight.