MINNEAPOLIS – The family of a 6-year-old girl whose intestines were partially sucked out by a Minnesota swimming pool drain last year says the child has died.
Family attorney Bob Bennett says Abigail Taylor's parents were with her when she died Thursday evening at a Nebraska hospital.
Abigail was injured on June 29 when she sat on a pool drain and its powerful suction ripped out part of her intestinal tract. She had small bowel, liver and pancreas transplants at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in December but suffered complications.
The child's injury led to federal legislation to make pools safer.
"The world's less better off without Abigail Taylor," Bennett said.
Kara Haworth, spokeswoman for the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, confirmed that Abigail had died. She said she could not comment further. She said Abigail's doctors were not available on Friday.
Abigail, of Edina, was injured June 29 when she sat on a wading pool drain at the Minneapolis Golf Club in St. Louis Park and its powerful suction ripped out part of her intestinal tract. She underwent transplant surgery at the Nebraska hospital to receive a new small bowel, liver and pancreas.
She later suffered setbacks, including a cancerous condition sometimes triggered by organ transplants.
After she was injured, her parents, Scott and Katey Taylor, campaigned for legislation that could help prevent similar accidents. In December, Congress approved legislation to ban the manufacture, sale or distribution of drain covers that don't meet anti-entrapment safety standards.
The legislation, the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act, is named for another victim, the 7-year-old granddaughter of former Secretary of State James Baker. She drowned at a graduation party in 2002, when the suction from a drain pinned her.
Minnesota lawmakers are also considering new pool safety regulations.
Sen. Geoff Michel, who is pushing new pool safety regulations at the state level, called the Taylors "a very amazing family" after he learned of Abigail's death.
"They have held up and been held up for such a tough, tough road. I just feel terrible for them," he said.
Michel, a Republican from Edina, said he was optimistic that the bill would pass. "It was a pretty compelling case already," he said.
He said Scott Taylor had promised his daughter that he would get the law changed.
"He's made the promise and we want to help him fulfill that," Michel said.
Bennett said the Taylors wouldn't be available to comment Friday. In November, the family brought a lawsuit against the golf club and Sta-Rite Industries, the pool equipment manufacturer owned by Pentair of Golden Valley.