PHOENIX – With several near drownings across the Valley over the past few days, ABC15 wanted to take a look at what life is like for a victim years later.
Twenty-six-year-old Adam Schilling never played little league, never went to prom and will never have a wife or kids.
Twenty-four years after he nearly drowned, he can’t do anything for himself.
“He needs 24-hour care, seven days a week,” said Respiratory Therapist Susan Rich. “And it’s 100 percent preventable.”
Adam was born a happy, healthy, normal boy. He was 2 1/2-years old when he fell into the family pool. He was only under water for two minutes, but the damage was done.
Adam now needs a wheelchair to carry him and a machine to breathe for him. He can’t speak. About all he can do is blink and muster an occasional smile.
His parents split soon after and now live out of state, but visit regularly.
“That’s another sad thing that happens to families, I have never seen one stay together,” said Rich.
Nine children have drowned in Maricopa and Pinal Counties so far this year.