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Family and friends remember life of 11 year old Jesse Watlington

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Photo: Video by fox4now.com

Family and friends remember life of 11 year old Jesse Watlington

By FOX 4. CREATED Oct 8, 2012
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Prayers came from all over -- everyone hoping this little boy would pull through.  But the 11 year old was taken off life support at a Tampa hospital yesterday and now a family is grieving an unimaginable loss.
 
The Facebook page 'Prayers and Thoughts for Jesse' show an overwhelming amount of support, even from people who never met the 11 year old. The page now reads "Our little angel is now in a better place watching over us."
 
“The outpouring of support and love for the family has been such a blessing," said Dr. Richard Powell, Senior Pastor. 
 
The family says Jesse Watlington spent days at a Tampa Hospital in ICU before making the decision to take him off life support on Sunday.
 
"He didn't breathe for very long on his own, too much damage." 
 
Jessie was struck by lightning last Wednesday around 4pm just as football practice was starting.
 
"It stopped his pulse immediately.  It was a miracle from God to survive that."
 
McGregor baptist church now has Jesse’s picture on the church's website homepage.  The sign at the entrance to Southwest Florida Christian Academy now reads “pray with us”. 
 
Senior Pastor Dr Richard Powell says students wore purple today, Jesse's favorite color.  "It's a very tight community a small Christian school we have about 500 students and really get to know very one it becomes an extended family."
 
Pastor Powell says the school hasn't decided if or when middle school football will resume but today class work was placed aside.  Students started the day with prayer.
 
"Nobody expects when you tuck an 11 year old in or drop him off for school and play football like every 11 year old's dream and all off a sudden terrible tragedy" Pastor Powell says.
 
The memorial service for Jesse Watlington will be Thursday at 1pm at McGregor Baptist Church. His burial will be done in a private ceremony.