Family mourns loss of baby after near drowning
It was a contagious smile that could light up any room. That's how family members have described baby Jaxon time and time again.
The past two weeks, however, haven't felt as bright.
"A living nightmare, I would say," Eric Sapps said.
"The last days were draining. It was just hard to see him so bloated up and with all these machines," Sapps said.
Sapps is the oldest cousin in the family. He had a special bond with Jaxon, even admitting he was the favorite.
"I would bring him to the zoo. I'd always be with him. I loved him as if like he was my own," Sapps said.
The one year old has a twin sister, someone Sapps says the family will now need to focus on.
"She knows something's missing, but now she's going to get double the love, which we'll definitely give her. Maybe she's not old enough to understand exactly what's going on, but as she gets older, we'll probably let her know she had a really special other half," Sapps said.
As they grieve her other half, Sapps says the whole family remains united.
"We've been really leaning on each other for support, looking at each other as like we're all we have right now," he said.
However, he shares the community has played a crucial role in their road to recovery, even donating money and food to the family.
"There was a line at the funeral before we even got here out the door. It's crazy what a small community they come together and they really show support," Sapps said.
At his cousin's vigil, Sapps was emotional. Now, he's deciding to look at the bright side.
"I guess the best part of all this is knowing he's not suffering anymore. He's definitely in a better place, and I know he's running around and he's happy," Sapps said.
Jaxon's mother says she's glad her son was able to help save other children's lives. His heart was donated to a boy in New York City, and his kidney to a child in Syracuse.