Originally created 04/23/04

Child dies after near-drowning



AIKEN - Christopher Charles King will be remembered by family members as a child who loved riding his bike, collecting rocks and being the first to help others.

Christopher, 8, of Bath, died Wednesday of injuries from a near-drowning Sunday.

Aiken County Deputy Coroner Daryl Ables said Aiken County EMS was able to revive the child after he nearly drowned in a pool on Daily Drive in Bath.

Although the drowning is still under investigation, Mr. Ables said the cause is considered to be accidental.

After Christopher was hospitalized Sunday night at Medical College of Georgia Children's Medical Center, his mother, Carla Mikell, said the most difficult part was waiting to find out whether her son would survive.

He had severe brain damage and was unable to breathe on his own. He was taken off life support Wednesday.

"But the hospital staff did everything they can do," Mrs. Mikell said. "Everyone has been so supportive - family, ministers, everyone."

Christopher's first-grade class at J.D. Lever Elementary School in Edgefield County has been sending cards to his family.

Christopher also is survived by his father, Charles E. "Chuck" King Jr. of Bath, and his stepfather, Daniel Mikell, of Trenton, S.C. He has one sister, Meagan Mikell, 3.

Mrs. Mikell said her son was a free-spirited child.

"He loved riding his bicycle and racing anyone," Mrs. Mikell said. "He also loved math and counting anything, especially money."

Jetty Warren, Christopher's paternal grandmother, of Bath, said her blond-haired, blue-eyed grandson loved helping with yard work, making even simple household chores fun.

Sandra Prince, Christopher's maternal grandmother, of Beech Island, said she used to buy art supplies for her creative grandson. Tears came to her eyes when she spoke about Christopher, who used to pick up rocks from her yard for his rock collection.

"He liked making things and was so artistic," Mrs. Prince said. "He was just a sweet little boy."

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Bath First Baptist Church.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Bath Volunteer Fire Department, where his great-grandfather, E.R. Scruggs, was once a firefighter.

"He liked the fire department, loved fire trucks," his cousin Wanda Shedd said. "We thought this would be something that he would have liked."

Reach Karen Ethridge at (803) 648-1395. karen.ethridge@augustachronicle.com.