RICHARDSON — From an early age, Rony and Harly Parada forged a tight bond.
Rony, the older boy, always looked out for his younger brother. On Sunday, their special bond was unbroken when both teens drowned at Lewisville Lake.
"I'm broken," said Maria Parada, the boys' mother. "My heart is broken."
Family members said 15-year-old Harly was struggling in the water after a sudden change in wind from a thunderstorm. His 17-year-old brother tried to save him.
According to the family, both were good swimmers.
"Rony, he see Harly," their mom said in broken English. "Harly says, 'Help me, please!'"
Parada said she ran into the water to help her sons, but her husband told her to get out because it was too dangerous.
Divers pulled Rony out of the lake six minutes after they arrived; they found Harly 90 minutes later.
Parada said she was able to see Rony after he was rushed to the hospital. "I said, 'Rony, please get up!' Rony touched my hand like this... he touched my hand."
Seconds later, he passed away.
The boys attended Berkner High School in Richardson. Rony was a rising senior in the ROTC program.; Harly, a sophomore, played football.
Both helped their parents with work and to take care of their 13-year-old brother and two-year-old sister.
The family is turning to their faith and friends for support, but they said life will never be the same without Rony and Harly.
"My sons, my kids, there were everything to me," Maria Parada said. "They were my life."
The family has set up an account for the brothers to help pay for funeral services. Donations can be made at any Chase bank branch.