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6-year-old pulled from swimming pool dies at hospital

Mark “TJ” Phongsavanh died Monday at Scottish Rite Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

MT AIRY, Ga. — A 6-year-old boy who was pulled out of swimming pool in Mt. Airy on Saturday has died, officials confirm.

Mark “TJ” Phongsavanh was pronounced dead at 10:37 a.m. Monday, at Scottish Rite Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, according to Mt. Airy police.

“Our thoughts, love & prayers extend to the Phongsavanh family and friends at this most difficult time,” said Chief Tim Jarrells of the Mt. Airy Police Department in a statement to 11Alive.

The boy was found in the private swimming pool in the Towerview subdivision off Demorest-Mt. Airy Highway Saturday evening. Police said Phongsavanh might have been underwater for as long as 10 minutes before bystanders rescued him from the pool.

Emergency personnel fought to resuscitate him at the site and he was airlifted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in critical condition.

Phongsavanh is the fifth drowning victim across Georgia this Memorial Day weekend.

34-year-old Jermiah Israel of Jonesboro was found in West Point Lake early Monday after he tried to rescue his 64-year-old father from drowning after he accidentally fell overboard. The body of 61-year-old Michael Thompson was pulled out of Lake Lanier Saturday after he was discovered in the water near his boat dock by a relative. 31-year-old Terrell Whitehead from Perry, Georgia, drowned when he fell off a jet ski while waiting to load it onto a trailer in Lake Lanier the same day.

In Florida, 63-year-old Rogelio Moreno Gaitan of Lawrenceville drowned on Friday in the Gulf of Mexico, where he was swimming by himself near Destin.

Two near drownings also happened over the weekend. A 13-year-old boy was pulled out of a pool in Hall County on Saturday, along with another 9-year-old who was rescued from a pool at a home on Clarks Bridge Road.

According to the Whitfield Funeral Home,  the funeral will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. there. Get information about the visitation and  more on the funeral service on their website.


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