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Kenai boy remains on life support after swim accident

Posted: February 11, 2014 - 11:08pm  |  Updated: February 12, 2014 - 3:14pm

Editor's note: This story has been updated. As of Wednesday afternoon, Floyd Murphy's official status provided by Providence Hospital remains "critical."

A 6-year-old Kenai boy remains in critical condition at Providence Children’s Hospital in Anchorage after a swimming accident.

Floyd Murphy had been in the hospital since Friday night after he was pulled out of a hotel swimming pool in Anchorage. Floyd and his older brother Devon, 10, were on a Bible Quizzing church trip and were staying at a hotel in Anchorage, said Floyd’s aunt, Amanda Murphy.

On Monday evening, Intensive Care Unit doctors told Floyd’s parents that he had some swelling in his brain. A CT scan did not reveal any brain activity with the damage irreversible. A decision has been made to remove Floyd from life support. The family was waiting for other family members to say goodbye and for all the medication he received to clear out of his system before removing him from oxygen, Amanda Murphy said. She said his healthy organs will be donated.

Floyd’s parents, Tim and Raelynne Murphy, were at home in Kenai at the time of the incident, she said. The family asked that the name of the hotel and church not be released because they do not want to lay blame on anyone, she said.

Devon found Floyd struggling in the pool and jumped in and pulled him to the side, despite not being able to swim himself, Amanda Murphy said. He underwent CPR on the scene after water went into his lungs. His brain was deprived of oxygen for 20 minutes, which caused seizures and brain damage, according to a Facebook page, started by the family.

Jennifer Ticknor, a neighbor and close friend of the Murphy family said she is still in shock. She has set up a donation site to help the family pay for funeral costs. The site, as of Tuesday evening, has already gathered 24 donations totaling $1,450, 18 percent of the $8,000 goal to cover funeral expenses.

Ticknor, who has known Raelynne Murphy for 17 years, said the loss of Floyd weighs heavy on their hearts. Ticknor and her husband Tim also lost a son.

“We called (Floyd) the king at grasshopper catching,” she said. “My kids are missing their friend.”

She said the support from the community has been incredible. In two days, the Prayers for Floyd Murphy Facebook page has already received more than 1,500 likes.

“It has been an amazing outpour from the community,” she said. “Anyone who feels inclined to help is appreciated.”

Teachers and students at Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Science, where Floyd was in kindergarten, have arranged meals for the family for the upcoming week when they return home, Ticknor said.

The family said in a post they wanted to thank everyone who helped throughout the difficult journey.

“We need your prayers for peace, comfort, wisdom and strength to get through these next hours, days and weeks,” the Murphys wrote. “Please stand strong with us, try not to lay blame. There is nowhere to put it. Everyone involved has done everything possible. God has apparently decided to take him to his eternal home, in that we will take comfort.”

Amanda Murphy said anyone wanting to help the family with funeral costs can donate to, “The Murphy Family Fund” at any Wells Fargo bank branch. More information on donations can be found on the Facebook page, Prayers for Floyd Murphy.

 Reach Dan Balmer at daniel.balmer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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