4-year-old Texas boy who saved drowning girl dies

Witnesses say Xander Vento, 4, held a young girl's head above water to prevent her from drowning. Cook Children's Health Care Systems

(CBS News) A 4-year-old Texas boy has died after witnesses say he saved a 3-year-old girl from drowning in a neighborhood pool.

A spokeswoman for Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas told the Star-Telegram that Xander Vento died on Friday afternoon at the hospital.

"We in some way hope our son's life serves as an inspiration," his parents, Cris and Misty Vento, said in a statement to CBS News after their decision to remove him off life support yesterday. "He was the angel in the pool who sacrificed himself to save another. And now he continues to give as an organ donor. We were blessed to have such a kind and caring boy as Xander who set an example for all of us and even now he will be saving lives by giving of himself."

Xander had been in a coma and hospitalized since a possible diving accident on Monday afternoon, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported.

CBS Dallas-Fort Worth that witnesses said Xander and a 3-year-old girl began drowning in a North Texas neighborhood pool. Xander held the girl's head above water until someone came to rescue them. Police added the Star-Telegram that he got under the girl to help her stay afloat but began to have difficulties himself. An off-duty nurse was in the area and began to perform CPR on Xander, who was unresponsive.

The girl was never unconscious, but she did swallow water, CBS Dallas-Fort Worth noted. She was transported to the hospital by ambulance and was reported to be responsive and talking right after the incident.

Xander's parents added in their statement that they were appreciative of all the prayers and support for their family at this difficult time.

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