A SEVEN-year-old swimming champion died on a family holiday to the Philippines after stepping on a jellyfish.
Italian youngster Gaia Trimarchi, dubbed a future Olympic champion, was collecting shellfish on the beach in Sabitang Laya island when she was stung last month.
Viral Press Little Gaia Trimarchi, seven. died on a family holiday after stepping on a box jellyfish
She was wading through the shallow water on the last day of their trip when she got tangled up in killer tentacles of a box jellyfish, one of the deadliest animals on earth.
Gaia’s tragic final words to her mother Manette: “I’m never going to the beach again… What’s going to happen to me? Mama, help me.”
Manette and her relatives rushed her to a local boat for help but, despite the known presence of jellyfish in the area, there was no first aid equipment on board.
Gaia was declared dead on arrival at the Caramoan Municipal Hospital around an hour later after suffering a serious and aggressive allergic reaction.
Viral Press Gaia screamed frantically for her mum Manette after stepping on the deadly animal
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.”
Gaia, who has a Filipino mother and Italian father, had won dozens of swimming competitions and gold medals in Italy.
Viral Press Gaia’s family tried to get help but none of the local boats had first aid kits
Viral Press Talented swimmer Gaia had been dubbed a future Olympic champion
Her mother said her thighs had already 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, the nearest hospital from the beach takes at least 40 minutes, with two transfers by motorcycle and boat.
Gaia’s devastated cousin wrote online: ”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.
Viral Press Gaia’s mum said her legs had turned violet by the time they reached her on the beach
Viral Press Gaia was collecting shellfish on the beach in Sabitang Laya island last month when she was stung
Viral Press Gaia died on her way to the nearest hospital which was 40 minutes away
”We have lost a potential athlete, who could have given the Philippines perhaps its first Olympic gold medal.
”It was an accident that could have been prevented had there been proper information from the locals that species such as box jellyfishes are prone in the area,
”There are so many questions that bothers me, like were there no nets or buoys that sets the line where tourists can stay so that they can avoid jellyfishes?