Rafael Pizarro: 13-Year-Old Teen Who Suffered Cardiac Arrest After Falling Into Rochdale Canal Has Died

Nearly two weeks after falling into a canal in England, 13-year-old Rafael Pizarro of Greater Manchester has died, and his organs will be donated to help those in need, according to the Daily Mail. On the evening of June 5, Pizarro was enjoying a day with his friends when things took a turn for the worse.

Sources say that the teen accidentally fell into the Rochdale Canal near the Boarshaw Clough Way in Middleton and went into cardiac arrest that caused the teen to drown. His friends tried desperately to save him, but it was to no avail. That’s when a passerby quickly jumped into the canal and pulled Pizarro to safety, but at that point, the teen was already unconscious.

Paramedics were called to the scene and they rushed the teen to the Manchester Royal Hospital by ambulance, where he remained for less than two weeks in critical condition until he died in the early hours of Tuesday, June 14.

After conducting an investigation, the Greater Manchester police officials concluded that there was no foul play in the death of 13-year-old Rafael Pizarro, who suddenly went into cardiac arrest after falling into a canal.

Relatives were stunned and at a “loss for words” after learning of the teenager’s tragic accident. However, what was more shocking was when the teen went into cardiac arrest that caused him to drown, which ultimately led to his death.

The family issued a tribute to the teen that stated as follows, “Rafael had a big impact on his family and friends and was loved and we will truly miss him. Out of this tragedy, we are comforted to know that his organ donation will help others in Manchester and across the country.”

“We would like to thank the staff at Manchester Children’s Hospital for their support and hard work caring for Rafael. As a family we would urge all parents to talk to their children around water safety so no other family have to go through what we are dealing with.”

“We would ask for privacy at this time to grieve,” the tribute continued. “We will pray for Rafael. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

After learning of the teen’s death Tuesday morning, St. Anne’s Academy in Middleton, where Pizarro was a student, released the following statement, “The governors, staff and students of St. Anne’s Church of England Academy are deeply saddened by the death of Rafael following his recent tragic accident.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Rafael’s family and friends. Rafael was a much-loved student and member of our Academy community. We will miss him greatly. The Academy remains open and we are supporting students and staff during this difficult time.”

According to the Manchester Evening News, Pizarro’s friends and classmates also left an emotional tribute to him via social media where they posted several images and heartfelt messages.

Detective Kate Atton stated that she believes that the teen’s death was indeed an accident; however, the case has been transferred to a local coroner, who will be conducting an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.

Atton added, “My thoughts are with Rafael’s family and friends as well as his school colleagues at this terrible and sad time. I would urge people, especially children, to take care around the water and try not to swim anywhere other than supervised swimming pools.”

The parents of Rafael Pizarro are now discussing water safety with other parents to prevent the tragedy from happening again. As aforementioned, the teen’s parents are also opting to have his organs donated to help the “121,000 men, women, and children” awaiting transplants.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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