Boy struck by lightning at practice dies - FOX 13 News

Boy struck by lightning at practice dies

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FT. MYERS (FOX 13) -

The 11-year-old Ft. Myers boy struck by lightning at football practice has died.

Jesse Watlington was brought to Tampa General in critical condition last week, and we've learned his family has decided to take him off life support. He died a short time afterward.

Watlington was known for his big smile and love of football. He was struck by lightning on his way to football practice. The middle schooler was running onto the practice field last week when a bolt of lightning hit him.

Paramedics rushed him to a local hospital where they were able to bring him back to life through CPR.

That's when he was flown to Tampa General for further care. He remained in a coma most of the weekend, but Sunday afternoon his family took him off life support.

"Little did I know at that exact moment my 11-year-old son was struck dead in the chest with a lightning bolt," his father, Charles, said last week when we spoke to him. "It entered here and exited out of his heel on his foot."

This weekend a Facebook page was setup for Jesse and the family called "Pray for Jesse Watlington."

His father posted a thank you to thousands of people who have sent their love, support and prayers. He said Jesse has touched the lives of literally thousands around the world.

The family will now head back to their home in Ft. Myers. They are asking friends and family members to wear the color purple today because it was Jesse's favorite color.

Southwest Florida Christian Academy, where Watlington attended, canceled extracurricular activities at the school through the weekend.

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