How a family trip to SeaWorld and a seemingly harmless souvenir ended in tragedy

How a fun day at SeaWorld turned into a tragedy for a Gold Coast family FOUR days after visiting the theme park - as Deklan, 6, fights for his life after becoming entangled in a seemingly harmless souvenir from the trip Six-year-old Deklan Babington-MacDonald received the toy at SeaWorld  The family visited the park a few days before the accident at home with the toy  Deklan became entangled in part of the toy and his heart stopped for an hour The boy remained on life support for a number of days before he was let go 

By Michael Pickering On The Gold Coast

Published: 07:04 BST, 2 May 2021 | Updated: 07:04 BST, 2 May 2021

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In making a visit to SeaWorld, six-year-old Deklan Babington-MacDonald was doing what thousands of Gold Coast locals do every weekend, little knowing that a souvenir of his trip would prematurely end his life. 

While the Gold Coast is famous as the home of Australia's biggest theme parks, SeaWorld is the most popular with locals because it's conveniently located on The Spit not far from Surfer's Paradise. 

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The six-year-old was playing with the toy at home on ANZAC Day when the accident occurred

The six-year-old was playing with the toy at home on ANZAC Day when the accident occurred 

SeaWorld is a popular theme park for locals on the Gold Coast because of its close location

SeaWorld is a popular theme park for locals on the Gold Coast because of its close location

DreamWorld and MovieWorld, by comparison, are located at Coomera on the northern Gold Coast and require bigger planning for a 'day trip'. When the kids are crawling up the walls, SeaWorld is the easy option for a couple of hours of entertainment out of the house. 

Dolphins, penguins, polar bears, seals and sting rays never fail to entertain young children. 

Deklan likely reached into the open touch pool at ever-popular Ray Reef, where visitors can pat the backs of sting-rays as they glide around the pool.

Deklan's mother Lauren (right) had kept a bedside vigil beside her son since last Sunday

Deklan's mother Lauren (right) had kept a bedside vigil beside her son since last Sunday

Deklan was known as a high-spirited kid who had just started Term 2 of Year 1 at school

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Deklan was known as a high-spirited kid who had just started Term 2 of Year 1 at school

The toy was similar to this one pictured

The toy was similar to this one pictured

He would have pressed his face to glass at

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