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Pastor Says It's a Miracle Teen Survived Water Ride Accident

David Jaramillo turned 16 on life support Wednesday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 7, 2021 2:21 PM CDT

(Newser) – A teenager injured in an accident on an Iowa amusement ride that killed his younger brother remained on life support Wednesday as he turned 16, his family pastor said. David Jaramillo has been in a medically induced coma since Saturday’s accident on the Raging River at Adventureland Park in Altoona, pastor Christian Shields said. David has some brain function and has woken up a couple times at a Des Moines children's hospital, opening his eyes and asking what happened, Shields said. The teen remains hooked up to breathing machines, but doctors are hoping to wean him off life support, Shields said, adding it's a miracle that David is alive after being pinned underneath a boat in water for several minutes, the AP reports. His 11-year-old brother, Michael, was taken off life support Sunday.

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The Christian Life Church in Cedar Rapids planned a prayer vigil for the family Wednesday night and is sponsoring a GoFundMe page that has raised $32,000. "We'll be praying for life for David, that his brain function would miraculously be undamaged and unhindered." The Jaramillo family went to Adventureland to celebrate David’s upcoming birthday on Saturday. The family’s boat flipped over within 20 seconds of the ride beginning, Shields said, causing all six to hit their heads on the surface below and trapping them in their seatbelts underneath the water. What caused the raft to flip remains under investigation, but at least one of its eight bladders was deflated, according to a mandatory "major breakdown" report filed by Adventureland with the state. (The brothers' parents spoke out about the accident Tuesday.)

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