'No one could replace Alex;' Mother speaks out after losing her first born
PENNELLVILLE, NY -- A Fourth of July vacation turned into a tragedy.
A Cayuga County boy with Down syndrome and autism drowned in Pennsylvania last week while on a family trip.
His devastated parents are now trying to recover from the loss of their eldest son.
Some say there's nothing more special than the bond you have with your first born.
"He loved trampolines, slinkys and swings," said Kristy Burt, mother of Alex Figueroa.
That's true for Kristy Burt. She had her son, Alex, when she was just 18-years-old.
"There's so much joy that comes with raising a special child," added Burt.
Alex was born with Down syndrome and later diagnosed with autism.
"There are struggles but the joy that comes with it is so great, much more and I thank god that I got to be his mom," explained Burt, with tears in her eyes.
This July 4th was supposed to be a fun family vacation on a lake in Pennsylvania. Alex was doing the one thing he loved most, swimming
"I was watching Alex and he loved to go up and jump up and then he would go under water and hold his breath and then pop up again," said Burt.
But this time was different.
"He came up and then he went back down and I was waiting and he didn't come back up," described Burt.
Alex went out to a spot that dropped several feet. When his mom saw him go under, she immediately jumped in desperately trying to find him.
"I went down and there was seaweed down there, but my foot brushed against him and not my strength, I know god was there," added Burt.
Kristy says paramedics performed CPR and Alex had a heartbeat, but died soon after arriving at the hospital.
The thing she misses most about her son is their nightly bedtime routine.
"Every night since then when I'm home, I sit in the rocking chair by his bed and I read the devotional, we would have read together and I say a pray in his room," said Alex's mom.
Alex had one more year left before he graduated high school. Kristy knows his spirit will always be with them.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Alex's family with funeral expenses. Click here if you want to donate to the family.