The community was saddened to learn of the sudden death of a 13-year-old Bristol boy last Tuesday night.
David Cornwell, a seventh grader at Tolar School in Bristol, collapsed late that afternoon at a home on Lake Mystic. According to his mother, Betty, David was swimming at a friend’s house, went inside to use the phone and called his brother-in-law, Aaron Minyard, to give him a ride home.
“It looked like he dropped when he went to put the phone down,” his mom tells The County Record.
Eight minutes later, Aaron arrived and found David on the floor, called 911 and began administering CPR. Deputies Caryl Marotta and Amanda King quickly arrived and took over CPR until an ambulance was on the scene. David died a short time later.
The family must now wait up to 90 days for autopsy results to find out exactly what claimed David’s life. His mom believes a similar incident occurred during the previous school year.
“The Lord let us have him 10 months longer than we would have,” she remarks, referring to an incident that occurred when David was stepping off a school bus. “He played with the Sound of Liberty and they drove to Bozeman. It was real hot on the bus and when he got off, he hit his knees, then hit his head and passed out.”
Betty says her son received immediate care that day. In hindsight, she thinks whatever medical condition he suffered from also flared up that day, but the fact someone was right there when it happened likely saved his life.
Known for being full of life, Betty says her son hugged everyone he encountered and put a smile on so many faces.
“He was an angel for the Lord,” says Betty. “The Lord decided to take his angel home. That’s how we look at it.”
Just two weeks ago, David was part of a youth mission trip to Tennessee. When he returned to Liberty County, he made the choice to rededicate his life to Christ. He was scheduled to be baptized at Lake Mystic Baptist Church this past Sunday.
“I took his place,” his older sister, Virginia, remarks. “I rededicated my life and his youth pastor baptized me instead of him.”
During the service that was held on Lake Mystic, a dove was released by the family of Ramsey Brown, a 29-year-old who lost her battle with heart disease a week prior. Betty also released a dove in memory of David.
“The dove sat above me for awhile,” says Betty, wiping a tear from her eyes. “When I turned to walk, it flew over the congregation and then flew away.”
David was laid to rest at Lake Mystic Cemetery Saturday. In addition to his mom, he leaves behind three sisters, a brother-in-law, a niece and his grandparents.