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Ashdown Junior High students remember one of their own

Classmates came together Wednesday to honor one of their own.
 (Facebook.com)
(Facebook.com)
Classmates at Ashdown Junior High honor one of their own.

On Wednesday, a prayer service was held for 13-year-old Coleman Pearson.

"He was an athlete, a good student, he was well liked by everybody," said Principal James Jones.

It was a tragic death nobody saw coming.

"Many of us can't help but ask why?" said classmate Grace Gwin.

"I was shocked," said one of Pearson's 7th grade teachers, Heather Sheppard. "You never think something will happen to somebody you're so close to."

Doctors believe 13-year-old, Coleman Pearson died from a rare disease called Eastern Equine Encephilitis.

It spreads by mosquitos and usually is found in horses.

"We found out he'd been taken to Children's Hospital, and that they were trying to get a diagnosis," said Jones.

After about three weeks of battle, Pearson lost the fight Tuesday.

Those at Ashdown Junior High are devastated.

"It's tough to lose a kid that's been a part of our family here at the school for three years," said Jones.

"The students, they're being strong, but they're 13-years-old," said Sheppard. "To lose a peer, it's going to be tough."

Students, faculty, and staff have spent the day remembering Coleman and say they'll never forget what a sincere and caring individual he truly was.

"Today our heart breaks remembering our favorite memories, a sweet smile and an encouraging word," said Gwin.

Those who knew him are still trying to understand.

"A kid that's 13, he had his whole life to look forward to," said Jones.

But say they'll always keep him close to their hearts, because while he may be gone, they know he'll always be with them in spirit.
 
If Coleman did have Eastern Equine Encephilitis (EEE), he'd be the first human on record in Arkansas to have had the disease.

There are some community events going on in honor of Coleman.

At 7:45am Thursday morning, a community prayer service will be held. It'll be at Ashdown Junior High at the flag pole out front.

Also, visitation for Coleman will be from 6pm-8pm Thursday at Maddens in Ashdown. The funeral will be Friday morning at Panther Stadium at Ashdown High School. Burial will be in Ben Lomond Cemetery following.

On October 30th from 4pm-10:30pm Chili's in Texarkana is hosting a fundraiser for the family. It'll be held at 3415 Mall Drive. They'll be donating 15% of the day's proceeds.
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