Boy struck by lightning at football practice dies

Jesse Watlington


Jesse Watlington

An 11-year-old Lee County boy in critical condition after getting struck by lightning last week died Sunday.

Pastor Richard Powell of McGregor Baptist Church confirmed Jesse Watlington's death.

The boy's condition was being updated daily through a Facebook page created by his family.

Confusion arose when it was posted that he had died, and later that he was not deceased.

Chuck Watlington, the boy's father, posted this message around 11:40 a.m. on the Facebook page:

"Our precious little son Jesse is now with our Lord and Saviour Jesus. We would like to thank the thousands of you for all your love, support and prayers! Jesse has touched the lives of literally thousands of people around the World. Thank you all !"

The strike happened at Southwest Florida Christian Academy around 4 p.m. Wednesday just as football practice was starting.

Powell, who has been in close contact with the family with the boy in a Tampa hospital, confirmed Jesse's death with NBC-2 just before 3 p.m.

McGregor Baptist Church has set up a fund to help the family with medical expenses. Anyone who wants to donate can send a check to the church and specify that they want it to go to Jesse Watlington.

© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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