ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A 15-year-old girl being towed on an inflatable raft died after she slammed into a dock at the Redington Shores Yacht and Tennis club (see http://wfts.tv/PdT1ic ).
Deviny Boese was the only child of a single mother. Now, for the first time, mom Doreen Boese shares her heart-wrenching story.
Doreen was told she couldn't have children, but in what she calls a miracle, when she was 35 years old, she became pregnant with Deviny.
And since her daughter was born, every waking moment, has been devoted to her.
"Deviny slept in my bed with me until she was 13 years old," Doreen said with tears running down her cheeks. "When she started school, I put her in a wagon and went one mile each way to drop her off and pick her up. I also ate lunch with her until she was seven."
Since her daughter's death, it's just sleepless nights and an overwhelming emptiness in her life.
"I never thought she would pass away. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around?" she asked.
It's among many questions Doreen has these days, even surrounding faith.
"Of course I am angry at God. Because I think 'Why would he give her to me?' if he was going to take her away. But I had the best 15 years of life with her," Doreen said.
Doreen was a single mom, but able to stay home and not work. She said she received a large settlement after a violent attack in New York and moved here to Florida to begin a new life with her daughter.
"I feel empty inside. I mean it's so hard to explain the emptiness of her being gone. I feel like I am just a shell and nothing is there anymore," said Doreen.
She will never forget the day she learned her baby died, July 17, 2012. Deviny told her she was going tubing. Since her daughter was out, Doreen decided to go to the VA hospital to visit a friend when a deputy met her there.
"I was confused. I thought what does he want with me here? And then he said 'boating accident.' I just knew right then something was horribly wrong and started sobbing. He wanted me to follow him to a hospital. But I told him I couldn't. I couldn't drive. I would not be able to see between the tears," she said her eyes welled up as she spoke.
When she arrived, Deviny was already gone. Her life ended at only 15 years old.
"I said I have to see her because I couldn't believe it. It was to hard to believe. I just hugged her and hugged her at one point I laid on the bed and laid on top of her. They told me I had to leave her and I just couldn't," Doreen said.
A 15 year old boy had been driving the boat. Pinellas deputies said he did not have permission from his parents to take it out by himself. Doreen did not know that. She knew her daughter was going tubing and thought she would be in good hands. She said Deviny and the boy had been friends since they were 5.
"At first I was a little angry. But it was an accident and accidents happen. No, I am not angry but I would like to talk to him someday and I would like to find out a little more details and actually tell him I am sorry that he's hurting too," said Doreen.
Deputies said when the teen turned the boat, Deviny and a girlfriend flew off the inflatable raft. Deviny hit her head on a piling. The 15 year old driver and another teen jumped in the water and tried to help, but it was too late.
Doreen's beautiful little girl was a star cheerleader, entering her sophomore year at Osceola High School and had dreams of becoming an orthodontist.
I asked if she had any message.
"I would tell all parents to hug your children a little tighter and tell them that you love them. You just never know how much time you have. You just don't know," she cried.
Pinellas County Deputies have ruled this an accident. While Doreen does not blame anyone, she thinks a tragedy like this could be prevented by strengthening boating laws
She's already taking action to do that, and ABC Action News will bring you another report Sunday night at 11.
On a personal note, this story affected me deeply. I am also the parent of one child -- a beautiful daughter. I realize whether you have one or six children, the pain is immeasurable. My heart goes out to this mother and I hope she can find some peace.
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