Family mourns loss of 'brilliant' son who drowned

A Sugar Land family is in mourning after their son drowned while swimming with friends and family over the weekend.

April 5, 2010 8:26:31 PM PDT
A Sugar Land family is in mourning after their son, a bright student who wanted to be a doctor, drowned while swimming with friends and family over the weekend. The Cho family of Sugar Land says they are leaning on their faith as they deal with the loss of their son, Peter. The young man died while swimming at the popular Hamilton Pool, located about 30 minutes outside of Austin.

"We were hoping we could open our own hospital, but now I have to carry that on with my own self," said Peter's brother, Phillip.

The Cho family is dealing with tremendous loss but they hope by telling their story it will bring about change and awareness, so their son's death was not in vain.

Peter Cho was just a month from graduating from the University of Texas in Neurobiology.

"He was a great kid that any father or mother wants to have," said Peter's father, Don Cho.

He was a brilliant student, a son and an older brother, and one of just five students accepted to UTMB's MD/PHD program.

"Right now I want to remember him as my role model," said Phillip.

This past Saturday, Peter, his brother Phillip and friends set out for a swim at a popular local swimming hole - Hamilton Pool in Travis County. Phillip says as they swam towards the waterfall and the water became very cold. Both he and his brother were having trouble, he screamed for help.

"I know why my brother didn't ask for help - he put me first before himself," Phillip said.

As Phillip reached the shore, there was no sign of his brother. They couldn't get cell service from the shore to call 911.

"They ended up climbing a 20 minute distance up in a high hill," said Don.

Peter's body was found in twenty feet of water on Easter Sunday, which was also his own father's birthday.

"Poking a needle in my heart every split second," said Don.

He believes a place advertised for swimming should be more clearly marked with the potential dangers.

"Why don't they have some kind of protective indication so that people can make a better decision?" asked Don.

Phillip says his older brother was no risk taker.

"I believe if there were a sign my brother would still be alive," said Phillip.

The Cho's hope their story will bring change.

"I don't want any future father or mother to go through what we are going through," said Don.

As a brother is left to finish the work Peter began.

"I need to finish his legacy because we both shared a dream that we would both become a doctor," said Phillip.

Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve is operated by Travis County. We placed calls to local leaders regarding the Cho family's request for changes, and we are still waiting for a response.


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