Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - Family and friends were mourning Tuesday night for a Duluth boy who died one day after a water accident on Lake Superior.
Jeffery Watson Jr., 13, was just like any kid his age before his death.
"Ya know, full of life, full of energy, always smile, always happy," Pastor Gabriel Green described Jeffery.
It was that vibrancy that was making his sudden death so much harder to accept for family, friends and the man he saw every Sunday, loyal Pastor Green.
"That's the hard thing being a pastor is to deal with something like this. It really, really hurts. It really does," Pastor Green said.
Pastor Green, of Duluth's Church of Restoration, was by Jeffery's side at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis as the family ended life support Tuesday afternoon.He said the trauma from Monday's water accident on Lake Superior was too severe for survival.
"It's just hurtful right now -- what we are all going through right now," Green said.
Authorities said Jeffery had been swimming with friends for about 20 minutes near the popular abandoned grain dock in Canal Park when he went under the water and never came back up until search and rescue crews discovered his body.
"He was in the water for 45 minutes and it was really a miracle he lasted as long as he did. But it's very tragic because hypothermia kicked in right away. His body temperature could not be warmed enough," Green explained.
But Green said the warmth of Jeffery's mother's heart and faith will help the slow healing process for a loss no parent should ever experience.
"His mother, she is just once again a strong Christian woman that has very strong Christian values right now. It's very, very hard for the family," Green said.