Speaking to BelfastLive, Corey’s father, Colin, said: “We were only there around three hours. The five of us went and the oldest son was coming to meet us, because he was in Spain.
“We got there on the Thursday morning, checked in and went to the pool.
“We then had something to eat, and I went up for a doze. There was only about an hour left of the pool being open, so Leanne brought the kids round to the back pool.
“He would have been running over to the wee drink machine – we were all-inclusive so he thought it was great he could get free Coke.
“Corey was found in the pool, and was taken out and people were working on him at the poolside. A guy called Matt, from Manchester, done the CPR. They worked on him and they did get a pulse back. [sic]”
Colin, of the Ballysillan area of Belfast, said his son was a “great wee child” and a “bundle of energy”. He added: “We have a 22-year-old who is at university in Spain, an 18-year-old, a 13-year-old and then our Corey, who had more energy than the other three put together.
“When he passed, that is what everyone remembered him by, just being the life and soul of the party, he never stopped. You’d be at a birthday party, and he would be the last one dancing.”
Corey was taken to hospital in a critical condition and on Saturday there were signs of hope. However, tests on the Sunday showed he had no brain activity and he died the same day.
He added: “The ambulance came and took him to the hospital, but we were at opposite sides of the island, so it was a long drive. On the Friday and Saturday, some of my friends came over to us and got the other kids and brought them home.
“On the Saturday, we had a bit of hope for Corey, we thought it was getting better, but on the Sunday, tests showed no brain activity whatsoever. We did seek a second opinion, and that came back the same. The machines were keeping the wee man going – he died on the Sunday.
“We flew back on the Thursday with Corey. Back home to Belfast.”
The tragedy has shocked the local community in Ballysillan, Belfast, who have rallied around the Aughey family.
Colin has hailed the local community who have set up a GoFundMe page in Corey’s name.
However, the family now want to go further and set up a charity in Corey’s name. Colin said: “Corey loved his superheroes, he was just so innocent. He was always talking about heroes, so through the Corey Aughey Foundation, he will be a hero.”
The family have applied to set up the Corey Aughey Foundation in order to raise money to teach children to swim and to give back to other charities such as the Air Ambulance NI and Children’s Hospice.
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