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Mother in Disbelief as Two Kids Perish Using Scuba Tank Filled with Helium Instead of Oxygen


A mum has shared her ‘upset, anger and disbelief’ after her two young children died while using scuba tanks in a friend’s pool.

Suzie Dudas’s two children, Zale, 9, and Saxon, 7, were were in a family friend’s swimming pool when they used scuba tanks unknowingly filled with helium instead of oxygen.

They lost consciousness in the water and sank to the bottom. Despite the efforts of Suzie’s ex-husband and medical staff after rushing them to hospital, Zale and Saxon both died four days later on April 27, 2021.

Last May, police announced they wouldn’t be filing charges in what it called the ‘heartbreaking tragedy’ – but Suzie is campaigning for the investigation to be reopened.

She says she can’t understand why the tanks weren’t checked and how both of her children died when the tank only had one breathing tube.

Mum in disbelief after her two kids d!ed while using scuba tank filled with helium instead of oxygen

Suzie, a farmer from Florida, US, said: ‘You can’t put into words the upset, the anger, and the disbelief.

‘The guilt that you weren’t there for your children, that you allowed it to happen, that you helped them to get into bathing suits.’

Suzie’s ex-husband collected Zale and Saxon and took them over to a friend’s house for the day on April 23, 2021.

She said the tanks the kids were given contained helium instead of oxygen. Helium is used by scuba divers for deep diving and is usually mixed with oxygen.

While Suzie’s ex-husband went back into the garage, the children grabbed the tanks and started diving.

Breathing in 100% helium left the children unconscious, resulting in them drowning, she said.

Suzie noticed something was wrong when she saw a missed call from her ex-husband.

She said: ‘When I picked up he wasn’t on the line but I could hear them in the background shout “start CPR”.

‘I hung up and I called my friend who owned the house, I told her my children are drowning in her pool and to call 911. Then I just started driving.’

Emergency services took the children to the hospital but four days kater Zale and Saxon were pronounced dead.

Suzie said: ‘I knew but I didn’t want to accept – it was unreal. To see how dilated my children’s’ eyes were.

‘They didn’t even look like themselves.’

Florida State Attorney, Thomas Bakkedahl, said: ‘I can confirm that our office has conducted an exhaustive review of the sheriff’s comprehensive investigation along with additional information and materials provided by the mother of Zale and Saxon.

‘After significant legal research conducted by my chief assistant and one of my major crime prosecutors, it was determined that the state could not, in good faith, seek criminal charges in this heartbreakingly tragic event.

‘Stated quite simply, the law and the facts prohibit a criminal prosecution in this instance. These findings and conclusions were communicated to the Martin County sheriff’s office and they have concurred with our decision.

‘At an extensive in person meeting, our findings and conclusions were communicated to the children’s mother as well as her civil attorneys.

‘During this meeting, my assistants answered questions and addressed concerns of the attorneys.

‘Our hearts go out to all those who loved Zale and Saxon and while we completely understand their desire that someone be “held accountable,” unfortunately that accountability cannot be found within the criminal justice system.’

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