A family works to honor the wishes of a 6-year-old who nearly drowned in an Anchorage hotel pool.
Update: According to the parents of 6-year-old Floyd Murphy, late Wednesday night Floyd succumbed to brain death.
ANCHORAGE – It’s one of the hardest choices a family can face.
For the family of 6-year-old Floyd Murphy, it was a decision that had already been made.
“It was something Floyd really wanted, so as a family we made a decision several months ago that if anything ever happened to us, we would be organ donors,” said Raelynne Murphy, Floyd’s mother.
As breathing machines work to keep Floyd’s body alive, his parents work to honor the 6-year-old’s wishes.
“If the end of his precious and all-too-short life can save someone else and keep someone else from losing a loved one, we know that’s what he would want,” Raelynne said.
It was a decision the Murphys said they never expected to make so soon. A phone call they received at their Kenai home Friday night changed that. The call came from a church member who had accompanied their sons to a Bible competition in Anchorage.
“They asked for me and reluctantly told me our son had drowned,” Tim Murphy recalled.
Floyd’s older brother Devin was there at the pool when it happened.
“He thought he could swim in the deep end and they think he hit his head when he was down,” Devin said.
What happened beneath the surface remains unclear, but once Devin pulled Floyd from the water, people at the hotel began administering CPR. Although witnesses applied CPR on the scene, family said Floyd’s brain was deprived of oxygen for 20 minutes.
In spite of a promising first 48 hours, on Tuesday the Murphys learned the 20 minutes Floyd had gone without oxygen had done irreversible damage.
The Murphys turned to church, family and Facebook and within days they counted more than 1,500 people in 16 countries and 28 states sending prayers via the Prayers for Floyd Murphy Facebook page.
“We never realized how many people our little boy impacted,” Tim said. “Just the outpouring of people for our little boy has really been overwhelming.”
While the Murphys prepare for one of life’s greatest joys, welcoming their sixth child into the world, they said those prayers will help them to make it through one of life’s greatest sorrows — saying goodbye to 6-year-old Floyd.
Floyd’s parents said out of everything he could offer, he would want his heart to be put to use the most. Soon, they expect to hear the results of tests showing whether or not his heart can be donated.
Tim and Raelynne Murphy asked to withhold the name of hotel where the incident occurred because they don’t want the public rushing to point blame at the establishment.