Tragedy strikes SA expats in Australia after both their sons drown

2019-04-05 11:33
Michael (2) and Joshua (16 months) Porter. PHOTO: Facebook/@Afrikaanse Klub Australië Inc.

Michael (2) and Joshua (16 months) Porter. PHOTO: Facebook/@Afrikaanse Klub Australië Inc.

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Two young brothers, who were found in their parents’ pool on 25 March, have died in hospital.

Johan and Carmen Porter are originally from Pretoria, South Africa, but emigrated to Australia 12 years ago. Their sons, Michael (2) and Joshua (16 months), were born there.

The town Morayfield – where Johan works at a technical college and Carmen at a nursery school – is 44km from the Australian capital, Brisbane, in south-eastern Queensland.

Arno Nel, a close friend of the Porters, didn’t wish to speak on their behalf but said they were loving parents. Asked about how the couple were, he answered, “It’s very emotional.”

A joint memorial service for the boys will be held on 7 April in Caboolture.

Emergency services were called to the home after the boys were found at the bottom of the pool. Both were unconscious.

On 3 April, the parents told local media that both boys had died in hospital. Johan and Carmen had been the ones who’d found the boys in the pool, News.com.au reports.

Local authorities are still investigating the incident, and it’s uncertain how the brothers got into the pool as it’s enclosed by a high metal fence.

A friend of the family told YOU that little Joshua had been walking already.

Emergency services were called around 4.30pm to attend to a double near-drowning. One of the boys was taken to nearby Caboolture Hospital, but both were eventually treated at Queensland Children’s Hospital, News.com.au reports.

A post on 28 March on the Facebook page Afrikaanse Klub Australië (Afrikaans club Australia) states that the parents had taken the difficult decision to switch off Michael’s life-support machines at 11am on 29 March, after doctors informed them there was no brain activity.

The parents had also chosen to donate their son’s organs to give others a second chance at life.

At that point Joshua was still in a critical condition and page members were asked to pray for the family.

But on Saturday 30 March another statement was posted on the Facebook page indicating that doctors had also failed to detect brain activity in Joshua. He, too, was taken off life support.

The Afrikaans community has also started a Go Fund Me page to raise funds for the medical expenses, as well as for the couple’s travel expenses. By Thursday, about R120 823 had been raised.

Additional sources: News.com.au 

Read more on:    australia  |  drownings
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