The family of the seven-year-old Filipina-Italian girl who was killed by a jellyfish in Camarines Sur have spoken of her final moments.
Gaia Trimarchi — whose swimming ability marked her out as a potential future Olympic champion — was collecting shells on a beach in Sabitang Laya island when she was stung on July 26.
As we previously reported, she was wading in shallow water on the last day of a family vacation when she when she came into contact with the tendrils of a deadly box jellyfish.
Her mother Manette has now revealed that her tragic final words were: “I’m never going to the beach again. What’s going to happen to me? Mama, help me.”
Manette and her relatives rushed to their tour boat for first aid supplies. However, despite the known presence of jellyfish in the area, there wasn’t even any vinegar on board.
Within an hour, Gaia was declared dead upon arrival at the Caramoan Municipal Hospital. The cause of death was recorded as anaphylactic shock — or an extreme allergic reaction.
In interviews with Italian media, heartbroken mother Manette said: ”My daughter really liked to collect seashells so she just stayed on the shallow parts of the ocean.
“We were all confused and shocked when we heard her suddenly scream in pain. A boatman told us it was a box jellyfish that stung my daughter.
“Not one establishment in the place, not even the tour guide, have a first aid kit. They were even blaming us for not bringing vinegar ourselves.’’
She also described how Gaia’s thighs had turned “violet” by the time they ran over to her on the beach.
She remembered her little girl screaming as she frantically tried to pull out the predator’s deadly barbs — only for them to dig in her hands.
Aside from the lack of first aid support at the scene, the nearest hospital was 40 minutes away.
Writing online, a cousin of Gaia on her Filipino side said: ”Gaia was based in Italy and had been competing in events, bringing home medals.
“She had the potential to become a national team member sooner or later, representing our flag.
”We have lost a potential athlete, who could have given the Philippines perhaps its first Olympic gold medal.”
In response to the tragedy, tourism chiefs have vowed to improve tourist safety.
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