A toddler who had been in critical condition after falling into an Auburn backyard pool July 3 died Thursday morning.
Jaxon J. Finizio, a 23-month-old boy, was found unconscious after falling into an above-ground pool last week. His mother and bystanders began intervening with CPR on the scene until EMS arrived, but the child didn't become responsive until after he was transported via ambulance to Auburn Community Hospital. Upon becoming responsive, he was transported to Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital in Syracuse via helicopter.
"I wish this wasn’t real life," Finizio's cousin Eric Sapps said in a Facebook post. "I love you so much. I know you put up the strongest fight and I know that everyone did all they could for you. I’m gonna miss that contagious smile ... Rest in paradise Jax (heart emoji). I will never ever ever forget you."
Last week Sapps told The Citizen that Finizio has six siblings, including a twin sister, Gia. He also noted that although Finizio was placed on life support, the family was holding on to hope for a miracle. Finizio would have celebrated his second birthday July 27, Sapps said.
Sapps was also one of the family members who organized a prayer vigil for Finizio at Hoopes Park last Friday evening.
Dozens of community members gathered at the vigil with candles, prayers, songs and more to support Finizio and his family.
At the event, Raheem Smith, Finizio's father, told The Citizen that every day has been a struggle for Finizio and his family, but said the community support Friday was a testament to the boy's strength.
“It just shows the strength of a human, that a baby can bring a crowd together, and how strong his willpower is to bring us together,” Smith said.
Calling hours are scheduled to take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at White Chapel Funeral Home, 197 South St., Auburn. A service will be held Monday, at a time to be determined, at Roosevelt Memorial Baptist Church, 101 Fitch Ave., Auburn, with the burial in Fort Hill Cemetery.