He wore No. 14 when he played baseball and basketball for the Boys and Girls Club. Only eight years old and going into fourth grade, he hadn’t really decided on a profession yet, but he thought playing major league baseball “would be awesome,” a family friend said.
So it was fitting that family and friends gathered in the outfield of a baseball field at the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Ridge to remember Brayden Pearson on Friday. They described Brayden as a lively boy with thick, curly hair, and a contagious laugh—”the best laugh ever,” said Tracy Stewart, a member of the close-knit sports family at the club. Brayden loved school, family friend Sara VanLandingham said.
Brayden died Monday, two days after he had trouble while snorkeling near a swimming area at Clark Center Park in south Oak Ridge. He had to be pulled from the lake that Saturday afternoon. Family and friends performed CPR, and 911 was called. The Oak Ridge police and fire departments responded and continued CPR, and Brayden was flown by a Lifestar medical helicopter to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital in Knoxville.
The family said they wanted to continue Brayden’s zest for life by donating his organs to other children who need them. On Friday, VanLandingham, who has been speaking on behalf of the family, said four organs had been successfully removed for donation. [Read more…]