"His parents were told they would never have children. They had given up hope," his cousin said, adding, Jesse was born "after 10 years of trying".
Following a treadmill injury, an 11-year-old young boy who was "destined for great things" passed away from a flesh-eating virus. Jesse Brown of Winter Park, Florida, tragically passed away after contracting a fatal infection, PEOPLE reported. Jesse's cousin Megan Brown shared that he had recently hurt his leg while using a treadmill. His mother saw that "his whole leg was covered in like splotchy, purply, red, almost like bruises" a few days later.
He was promptly sent to the intensive care unit (ICU) of a nearby hospital, where physicians discovered that he had contracted a Group A Strep infection. When the illness progressed into flesh-eating necrotizing fasciitis and caused Jesse's brain to swell, it proved fatal. The little boy was unable to make recovery, despite the greatest efforts of the medics.
Group A streptococcus bacteria can cause a number of illnesses, including strep throat, scarlet fever, necrotizing fasciitis, rheumatic fever, impetigo, and more. According to the CDC, there are between 14,000 and 25,000 confirmed instances of invasive Group A strep each year, and this infection kills between 1,500 and 2,300 people.
Doctors found Jesse's condition was caused by his treadmill injury. "They said that because he rolled his ankle, that that's likely where the infection attacked it. Because it was already weak," his cousin shared. "For this to kill him in just a matter of days was crazy. If there was more awareness, maybe we could have caught it earlier when we noticed he had a fever," she added.
Moreover, Megan started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral expenses and medical expenses. In a heartfelt message, the mourning sister shared how their family's "miracle child" was taken away way too soon. "His parents were told they would never have children. They had given up hope, and after 10 years of trying, they were blessed with Jesse Ryder Brown. That miracle was taken from us far too soon," she said.
Jesse's parents, Brad and Betsy, according to Megan, gave their baby everything. He was the center of their universe. He was lavishly treated, because "who wouldn't for their miracle child?" Jesse was described as "totally happy and healthy" and "destined for great things" by his cousin. He had started racing BMX bikes at the age of three and loved to ride dirt bikes. He also competed in Muay Thai boxing.
"Everyone who met Jesse loved him. He was hilarious, his laugh was contagious, and he just lit up the room," she concluded the fundraiser, along with a link to his YouTube channel for those who wanted to see Jesse's silly side.
Lakemont Elementary School started a memorial fund, remembering him as "a sweet kindergartner" when he first enrolled there. "Jesse worked hard and had a huge heart. He was one of our patrols that worked to keep the school safe, but also worked to make sure everyone started their day with a smile. Everyone that knew Jesse has nothing but love for him," the school shared of the young boy.
Cover Image Source: GoFundMe