Family opens up after death of 13-year-old Pell City boy

Published: Aug. 30, 2014 at 3:02 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2014 at 3:03 AM CDT
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PELL CITY, AL (WBRC) - Two young girls are opening up shortly after the death of their brother, a 13-year-old who died after collapsing at his Pell City school on Thursday.

Jalin Puckett's sisters are trying to just understand how they could see their brother one day and have lost him the next.

His 11-year-old sister Aaliyah Robertson says she cried all Thursday night. She said she's praying and asking why Jalin had to go so soon.

Both of his sisters say he was a great big brother.

"He always used to be active and happy all the time," said Robertson. "He'd help me with stuff, like if I ever needed help with anything he'd be right there to help me. Play with me. It was fun being with him while he was still here."

His aunt talked to FOX6 News about Jalin's health.

While Samecca McCrimon says Jalin did have an enlarged heart, she also says he hasn't been sick. And that's why she says her nephew's sudden death was such a shock to the family.

She said Jalin's grandmother dropped him off at school yesterday morning and he was fine.

McCrimon says he wasn't on any medication because of his heart, but his condition made him tired very easily.

In fact, because of his condition he couldn't participate in any extracurricular activities.

McCrimon said Jalin had been his normal, happy self lately and showed no signs that something like this would happen.

"As far as sickness, Jalin hadn't been sick at all. We had a birthday party Sunday.... He played, active with the kids," said McCrimon. "Very happy, nothing seemed wrong."

Robertson said she will concentrate on the happy memories with Jalin.

"Thinking of the good times we had makes me cry. Makes me cry that he isn't here to do it with me right now," said Robertson. "He's gone, never coming back."

Friends and family will gather for a memorial Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. at the Pell City Center for Education and Performing Arts, located at 120 Williamson Drive in Pell City.

His funeral will follow the memorial service.

Puckett's family has also set up a fund to accept donations to cover burial costs.

If you are interested in helping, call the Metro Bank at (205) 884-2265 (800 Martin St. S., Pell City) and ask to donate to the Jalin Puckett Fund.

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