LAFAYETTE COUNTY, Ark. (KSLA) — A Southwest Arkansas community is helping a family that is dealing with the loss of a child who died after choking at school.
School leaders, first responders and others paused this weekend to remember Jaxson Land.
“We knew that he was looking down just waving at them as they went by,” said his father, Lonnie Land.
A two-mile funeral procession that included firefighters and law enforcement officers in Lafayette County honored the 11-year-old.
“He was always infatuated with the law enforcement, cops, any public servant in uniform,” his father said.
Jaxson was so fond of them that Lafayette County Sheriff Obie Sims said they wanted to do something for him.
“We thought we could give him the best send-off we could give him. And the response was just tremendous.”
Last week, Jaxson was at Taylor Elementary when he choked on some food and later experienced a seizure. People at the school and emergency crews tried helping him, but he later died.
“All teachers and students have been impacted, but especially those who had contact wth Jaxson on a daily basis,” said Taylor Elementary principal Robby Frizzell, who added that the fifth-grader was full of personality.
“When I think about Jaxson, a smile comes to my face.”
Family members at their Walker Creek home told us KSLA News 12 that Jaxson was diagnosed with autism early on in life and that one of his obsessions was the love to eat.
“And the day of the accident, he had went to school and he had is favorite meal — a biscuit — with him,” recalled Jaxson’s parents, Lonnie and Marguerite Land.
Jaxson’s parents said he also had been diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome, a disease resulting in feeding difficulties with late development and poor growth.
Now his family wants to educate others about this disease.
“We honestly don’t know what each day is going to bring for us right now. We can’t imagine losing our baby boy,” Lonnie Land said.