Local News

Mother remembers son who died after falling into pond

Posted January 2, 2009 1:22 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:11 p.m. EDT

— 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'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.