Mon | Oct 26, 2020

Pain and agony as toddler drowns in bucket

Published:Friday | September 25, 2020 | 12:10 AMOlivia Brown/Gleaner Writer

Peta-Gay Prince frantically performed CPR on the apparently lifeless body of her eight-month-old infant, Aiden Rattray, on Wednesday morning, attempting to breathe life into the child she had borne as a New Year’s blessing.

But those desperate efforts ended in tears and regret in the rural Clarendon district of Broomwell.

Between sighs on Wednesday, she sought to recount the moments leading up to the shock discovery.

“Me cyaa feel good ‘bout it ... . Me go see him in the bucket and start blow in a him mouth, and me see water a come out, so me just run fe carry him go hospital,” Prince said on Wednesday.

The family is still trying to recover from the heart-stopping tragedy.

Police reports are that about 8:45 a.m., Aiden was at home with his mother and siblings when he was found unresponsive in a bucket of water. He was pronounced dead at the Percy Junor Hospital in Spaldings.

Dad Antonio Rattray said Aiden was left in the company of his siblings, aged six and two, inside a room while their mother carried out chores in the kitchen. Rattray maintained that Prince made regular checks on the trio.

The Gleaner understands that water was left in a bucket after the child’s father had taken a bath the night before.

“Is after she done clean up the kitchen and check again, a that time she find him in the bucket,” he said.

Rattray is still perplexed that his son, who had just started walking, could have died in “less than half-pan a water”.

“The water low, so it look like him a try reach down fi touch it, and a so him drop over,” he said.

Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children and youth, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports. The WHO posits that drowning accounts for seven per cent of all injury-related deaths. An estimated 320,000 people die from drowning yearly across the world.

Councillor caretaker for the Ritchies division, Frederick Blackstock, described Wednesday’s incident as unfortunate.

“It’s not like neglect or anything, you know ... . It’s just one of those sad things,” said Blackstock.