The Paris community is mourning the loss of 4-year old Asher Lee Rayburn who tragically died on Sunday morning after falling into a pool while on vacation in Galveston.
“This weekend I lost the glue to my little family,” said mom Candus Booth on a GoFundMe page. “The one who always made my dark days lighter.”
Booth said the family had taken a trip to Galveston to celebrate Asher’s 5th birthday.
“However with great sadness I’ll be making the trip back home without him in the backseat. I haven’t yet really figured out how to walk this walk without my best friend. But I must do so for the sake of my other two children.”
According to police, first responders were called out to the hotel pool at Moody Gardens around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night after the child was found in the pool.
Witnesses performed lifesaving measures before authorities took over and he was taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch health center in critical condition. He died on Sunday morning.
“The Galveston Police Department would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends directly impacted by this tragic loss,” the police department said in a statement.
Moody Gardens said Asher and his family were guests at the hotel.
“The management and staff at Moody Gardens are devastated by this tragic event and have been working with the authorities as they conduct their investigation to understand the circumstances that led to this accident,” the hotel said in a statement.
Moody Gardens President and CEO John Zendt asked for community support to get them through the difficult time.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic incident that occurred Saturday evening at our hotel. As a parent and grandparent, my heart breaks for this family. We urge everyone to keep this family in their closest prayers,” Zendt said in the statement. “We kindly ask for the media’s and public’s understanding and respect for the privacy of the affected family during this profoundly difficult time and all of the other families staying with us. This is a situation that is difficult for anyone to process, especially those who were here and are a part of the Moody Gardens family.”
Several GoFundMe fundraisers have been organized by family members.
“Asher was your typical boy. He loves being outdoors, riding his bicycle, until he upgraded to his motorcycle, where he became a tricky daredevil. You could always find Asher outside playing in the dirt from sun up to sun down making lots of noise. Asher was very animated and the joker of the family. He’s always being silly and loud cutting up. He had the biggest blue eyes that could melt your heart. He was a pure joy to be around. Pray for us as we find a new way to live in this life without our Ashy boy,” said Vanessa Sadler on one GoFundMe pages.
Both fundraisers will help the family with funeral costs and time off work for the parents to get through this tough time.
“This will give us the opportunity to grieve and get through this time without the worries of financials but also to help me purchase a plot next at the graveyard for myself as well. I don’t want my son to be buried without me next to him.”