The family of a 6-year-old boy who drowned in a Fort Worth swimming pool Wednesday has donated his organs.
Micah Wheeler was pulled from the water of a community pool in the 6000 block of Grand Champion Boulevard sometime after 1 p.m. on Wednesday. Witnesses said he was under water for more than five minutes.
Someone at the pool performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but he died before he arrived at Cook Children’s Medical Center.
Ashley Huffer knew Micah since his birth and babysat the boy and his brothers for years.
She says Micah was learning how to swim, and had only taken a few lessons.
Huffer fired back at criticism she's heard, saying that Michah's mother was there the whole time watching him as best she could. The drowning, she says, happened very quickly.
"It hurts my heart to think of all the negativity when someone just lost their child, and you know that she's already blaming herself and that the family is already having such a hard time, and I would hope that people would give prayers,” said Huffer.
Friends of the boy gathered to pray, and remember him Wednesday night.
A GoFundMe page set up by friends of the Wheeler’s said the family opted to donate Micah’s eyes and heart valves “so that someone else’s child could have the chance to live and see.”
Micah, according to the page, was a “happy and well loved” kid who loved playing with his three-year-old and nine-year-old brothers. It said Micah loved animals and was a sweet boy who could also be shy.
The GoFundMe page is helping the family with funeral expenses.
State officials said Thursday that 38 children have drowned in Texas so far in 2015, with North Texas leading the way with 14 drownings.
"I urge all Texans to keep a very close watch on children as they head outdoors for this holiday weekend. And watch a child closely any time around water," said Judge John Specia, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.
In a separate incident, firefighters say a 7-year-old girl was found in four feet of water at the bottom of a cloudy pool in Fort Worth on Wednesday night.