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Mother remembers son who died after falling into pond

Posted January 2, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— A 2-year-old Spring Lake boy who nearly drowned Christmas Eve after falling into a pond died of complications from the accident, authorities said Friday.

Ramel McArthur was pronounced dead at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill early New Year’s Day.

"The Lord blessed me with two wonderful years with my son," Ramel's mother, Angie Livingston, said.

Ramel McArthur Toddler who fell into pond on Christmas Eve dies

Ramel's grandfather found the toddler face-down in a man-made goldfish pond in the backyard of his grandfather’s Spring Lake home on Christmas Eve. His grandfather was chatting with a neighbor over a fence and thought the boy had gone into the house, deputies said. When Ramel did not answer his calls, he began searching.

Livingston was at work when the accident occurred.

"I just dropped everything and left. I ran out," she said.

Sitting by her son's hospital bedside, Livingston said, she constantly prayed and talked to him. She read his favorite books to him, including "The Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham."

Livingston said that the child would sometimes move his arm and yawn while at the hospital.

"I walked over to him and called his name and said, 'Mommy and daddy are here,' and my baby opened his eyes. He actually opened his eyes," Livingston said.

Family members had faith Ramel would survive.

“We’d mess with his feet, and he’d move his feet, so we always had that faith,” Livingston said.

Livingston said her son had always been a fighter. He was born three months premature and weighed 2 pounds and 1 ounce.

"When I had him, he wasn't supposed to live this long," she said.

Investigators ruled the child’s death an accident, and authorities did not plan to file any charges in the case.

Livingston said that for the rest of her life, she will sleep with the blanket Ramel used at UNC Hospitals.

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  • any1butcarolina0405 Jan 5, 2009

    "thought he went into the house"

    first mistake... he THOUGHT... he didn't bother to make sure. C'mon now.... I think we need parenting classes for families.

  • sayitoutloud Jan 5, 2009

    What a tragic story. My prayers to the family.

  • ncchrisncchris Jan 5, 2009

    praying for the family - what a terrible accident. No parent should have to bury their child -- it is just an atrocious thing to suffer through!

  • ckblackm Jan 2, 2009

    Worst feeling in the world has got to be burying your own kid.... so sad.

  • Ksw1 Jan 2, 2009

    God Bless this family and their beloved angel called home so early in his precious life.

  • 1Moms_View Jan 2, 2009

    I read the grandfather was taken to the hospital after this happened with heart problems. I hope he is alright. This man will have to live with this the rest of his life. Prayers for the grandparents in dealing with this tragedy.
    RIP little one.

  • Im all 4 JUSTICE Jan 2, 2009

    THIS IS SAD, I PRAYED THAT THIS LITTLE ANGEL WOULD MAKE IT AND RECOVER FROM THIS HORRIBLE ACCIDENT. WHEN I READ AN ARTICLE STATING THAT THIS LITTLE GUY WAS RECOVERING FROM NEARLY DROWNING, I WAS HAPPY THAT HE WAS GOING TO MAKE IT, THEN I READ THIS..... IM PRAYING FOR THE FAMILY, THAT 1 DAY THEY WILL FIND PEACE AND COMFORT IN THEIR HEARTS... MAY GOD BE WITH YOU ALL....

  • tsquaring Jan 2, 2009

    You have to watch them every second. Pools (or a pond) are one of the most dangerous things a home can have with children around.

  • anneonymousone Jan 2, 2009

    Anne53ozzy, I'm with you. It's heartening to read that the milk of human kindness still has a place here.

    May there be enough comfort and support for all involved, no matter how close or distant.

  • msmac0622 Jan 2, 2009

    Soooo Sad to hear this! My heart & prayers go out to this family.

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