NATIONAL NEWS

Father says the 10-year-old child swept into a storm drain in Tennessee after severe storms has died

May 21, 2024, 9:39 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A 10-year-old Tennessee boy who was swept into a storm drain after severe weather two weeks ago has died, according to posts by his father on social media.

Asher Sullivan had been playing with other children in water in the streets as the adults cleaned up debris in Christiana, southeast of Nashville, after severe storms hit on May 8, James Sullivan has said. Somehow, Asher was caught in a storm drain and swept under the neighborhood streets, eventually coming out in a drainage ditch. Medics were able to reestablish a heartbeat, Sullivan said, but the child’s brain was irreparably damaged from a lack of oxygen.

Sullivan, who is the director of the Rutherford County School District, held out hope for several days, asking for prayers for a miracle. So many well-wishers called and visited Vanderbilt’s children’s hospital in Nashville that he had to ask them to stop, saying they had “put a strain on operations.” Still thousands of people responded to and shared his posts on social media.

Asher’s fourth-grade teacher posted about him on Facebook, describing him as, “Funny and silly in down times, always trying to bring a smile to a friend who was sad.”

The class went on a field trip on the day of the accident, Amber Warden Peneguy wrote, noting that “Asher had a blast. We laughed at his bowling … skills. He definitely figured out how to use the bumpers to his advantage!”

On Saturday, Sullivan wrote that Asher had been officially declared deceased, although the family decided to keep him on life support a little longer in order to donate his organs.

“Asher gave the gift of organ donation to four others so he will live on in them,” Sullivan posted on Monday evening. “I will live my life to honor his spirit and to make sure he is never forgotten.”

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Father says the 10-year-old child swept into a storm drain in Tennessee after severe storms has died