A Filipino girl was killed after being stung by a box jellyfish (inset) on Sabitang Laya Island in Caramoan, Camarines Sur, Philippines. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A seven-year-old Filipino-Italian girl who was killed after being stung by a jellyfish last month wanted to represent the Philippines and win the country’s first gold medal, her grieving family says.

On July 26, Gaia Trimarchi, who was on vacation with her family in Caramoan in the Philippine province of Camarines Sur, was collecting shells on a beach on Sabitang Laya Island when she was stung by a box jellyfish, Philippine Lifestyle News reported.

The girl’s mother Manette said Gaia was stung on the lower part of her body. The family quickly sought medical assistance, but the nearest hospital was 40 minutes away.

Manette said there were no first-aid supplies or vinegar available from their tour guide or any of the establishments on the island. When she ran to her daughter, Gaia’s leg had become purple and she was in pain.

“We were all confused and shocked when we heard her suddenly scream in pain. A boatman told us it was a box jellyfish that stung my daughter,” Manette said.

When Gaia was taken to hospital, she was pronounced dead on arrival. The girl died from anaphylactic shock, an extreme allergic reaction. Manette said her daughter’s last words were “I’m never going to the beach again. What’s going to happen to me? Mama, help me.”

She said Gaia had the potential to compete in the Olympics as a swimmer and wanted to represent the Philippines. “We have lost a potential athlete who could have given the Philippines perhaps its first Olympic gold medal,” she said.

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