Vigil held in Collier County to remember children lost to drownings

A vigil was held on Vanderbilt Beach in Collier County Friday to remember children who died from drowning.

Those gathered read the names of every child lost to drowning here in Collier then released butterflies in their honor.

Paul Demello organized the event. In 2010, he and his family lost his twin sons to drowning — 13-month-olds Joshua and Christian. They broke through their baby gate, crawled into their grandparents’ lanai and made their way to the pool.

Demello told me he never knew he could cry so much, and that’s why it is important to never stop having the conversation.

One of the parents here said there is often a stigma associated with drowning that keeps people suffering in silence.

Drowning is the leading cause of death for children between one and 4 years old here in Florida.

Watch the video above for the full story by WINK News Reporter Anika Henager, who was on Vanderbilt Beach for the vigil.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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