‘Jesse was the coolest kid:’ Orange County 11-year-old mourned after death from flesh-eating bacteria

Lakemont Elementary student declared brain dead after bacterial infection

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – News 6 spoke with the family of 11-year-old Jesse Brown, who said the outpouring of support from the community has shown them just how many lives he touched.

Jesse Brown’s cousin, Megan Brown, said he was such a special boy.

She described him by saying, “Jesse was the coolest kid.” She told News 6 he was very active, and loved Muay Thai, BMX biking and motocross.

But in January, Megan Brown said her cousin had an accident on the treadmill and sprained his ankle, and days later, what they thought was a minor injury proved to be something very different.

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“His leg was covered in like a reddish-purple splatchiness, and that was the first sign of the strep-A,” Megan Brown said.

Megan Brown said Jesse ended up with a flesh-eating bacteria.

“It festered in his ankle, because that was the weak spot from where he sprained his ankle, and then it just continued throughout his body and once it got in his bloodstream his organs started shutting down,” she said.

Days later, Megan Brown said the 11-year-old was declared brain dead.

She said, the sudden loss of her cousin has impacted the family in a way she could’ve never imagined.

Jesse was a fifth grader at Lakemont Elementary School.

The district has set up a memorial fund in his name, and that can be found here.

The district told New 6 that Jesse Brown was a part of the safety patrol at his school and volunteered daily to walk younger children to class.

He also participated in raising the flag, and the district said he was the only student who knew how to fold the American flag properly.

His teachers described him as a true blessing and said Jesse was kind and compassionate.

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About the Author:

Lauren Cervantes was born and raised in the Midwest but calls Florida her second home. She joined News 6 in August 2019 as a reporter.