ALTOONA, Iowa — What was supposed to be a fun family vacation for their eldest son's birthday turned into a nightmare for David and Sabrina Jaramillo.
On Saturday, a tragic accident on Adventureland Park's Raging River ride left their 11-year-old son Michael dead and their 15-year-old son David in a medically induced coma.
More tests are being done on their son, Gus, who continues to get better every day.
In an exclusive interview with ABC News, David and Sabrina describe the terrifying accident during their first-ever trip to the Iowa theme park.
With their niece and three sons, the couple climbed into the raft to start the ride.
"He released the lever to let our boat drop or move. And as we kept going— the thing was getting water inside. Some of the water wasn't coming out as fast as was going in," David said.
The raft bumped into the rocks where it's designed to bounce the raft further along the ride.
"It kind of went up in the air, almost kind of scary at first, like, whoa. But it came back down to the second one. It went up in the air. And it just continued— it went further, moreover— it flipped right over, and when it flipped over, all of us were trapped in the seats and seat belts," David said.
David said the water was so shallow that everyone on the ride was hitting their heads on the rocks in the overturned raft.
"I see the silhouettes, my sons trying to grab each other, grab us, they want us to help them. We couldn't do it. I'm trying to get us out. The boat began to move in different directions. If that's the way it is designed to move all over to the left, right, we end up getting stuck on a wall. I slammed on my head and my shoulder. You heard a crunch," David said. " I'm drowning, I'm looking around, you can see the kids hands, little hands man, they're just trying to reach for us to help them, and I was trying to do so and they were drowning upside down."
Trying to save his kids and niece, David broke his own shoulder to escape the raft.
"I just finished breaking a shoulder to unstuck us when we, we unstuck, it went down a little further and it ended up an angle, but still stuck upside down at that time," David said. "My niece and my, my son [David] unbuckle themselves and get out. I began to push hard as I can to kind of stand up all you try to get is air— so you try and find that air is where the light that— there's still sunlight."
David and Sabrina began screaming for help, looking around for anyone to help them get the other kids out of the overturned raft.
"I kind of went down under the boat to go get my other two sons because I didn't see them. The river was so intense, it was like a suction," David said. "But then I begin to drown again, trying to get my son, man. I'm trying to get my sons. One son, my oldest son, was upside down, face down the was on top of the back of his head. My little one, my little guy was still in the seat belt. They were still stuck together. I guess my oldest one was able to get out, but the boat pinned them down."
Another raft started coming their way as David returned to the surface of the water. The family, still screaming for help, was unable to reach the grassy area near the ride due to the sweeping currents.
The passengers on the first boat went around. David said he guessed the passengers of that boat were going to tell the ride operators about what was happening.
"We're bleeding from our heads and a broken shoulder and we just couldn't get— we couldn't do nothing but scream for help," David said.
Then the second boat came and passengers jumped into the water to help.
"They were helping us, they were trying to pick it up, but the water was pushing them back down and they were going to get sucked in there and drown," David said. "I tried to do what I can, I try pushing up on my shoulder, doing everything. I mean, you're saving your family, so you do everything you can do."
A third boat came down the ride, hitting the family as they tried desperately to save their other children. The occupants of that boat also jumped into the water to try and get the kids out. They were able to pull out one of the boys, but couldn't get the other one.
David said the paramedics were first on the scene, followed by firefighters. The firefighters were able to pull the kids out of the water.
"They pull them out, they're blue and rubbery. I was screaming. We're lost and asking the Lord to help us," David said. "I kept asking, 'Jesus, please, please, please help us.'"
When asked what gives them the strength to talk about this tragic accident, Sabrina said, "Jesus."
"Jesus, for sure because we were scared. We were scared that for some other family or someone else to happen, [Adventureland] didn't really have a plan in case this happened. I mean for a tragedy like this to happen, like for us, definitely could be prevented for next time," David said. "But they've never had a plan and nobody ever knew that this was going to happen. They didn't have anything as a way in case of the boat flips over in the water, a safety belt, a ladder, something. There was nobody that the people, the good people that helped us, that they didn't have any idea what to do in this situation. They did not have one."
Now, the couple is left to deal with the aftermath of the accident. When asked what they want people to know about Michael, Sabrina and David spoke through tears.
"He's a lover, gentle. He's the type of person that if a bully is messing with another kid, he would jump in and help the kid so that bully can get away from the kid. He's so kind and he is so helpful. He always danced with me," Sabrina said. "That's what I'm going to miss. His dancing."
"Yeah. He was a big guy, but so soft," David said. "His heart was bigger than him. I'm telling you, man, everybody loved him. He loved people, he was a good kid."
"He was a baby and I feel like Adventureland robbed me of my baby," Sabrina said. "I will never get a chance to see him grow up or get a chance to see him graduate. They robbed me of that."