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6-year-old died Monday after going under in Mount Airy pool
Mark Tiger Phongsavanh
Mark Tiger “TJ” Phongsavanh

A 6-year-old boy died Monday after reportedly being underwater for 10 minutes in a residential pool near Mount Airy, according to authorities.

Mark Tiger “TJ” Phongsavanh, of Demorest, succumbed to his injuries at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite after being pulled from the pool Saturday, May 25.

TJ was originally born in Gainesville and had just finished the first grade at Fairview Elementary School in Demorest, according to his obituary.

“TJ had a great enjoyment for video games and fishing. He loved playing Minecraft and working alongside his daddy. TJ would do anything with his daddy just to be with him. He was very much so a ‘mommy's boy,’” according to his obituary.

TJ was at a family gathering Saturday and was found in the private residential pool, according to a statement released jointly by Mount Airy Police Chief Tim Jarrell and Habersham County Coroner Kasey McEntire.

People at the gathering attempted to resuscitate him before first responders arrived.

“People at the scene told emergency personnel that the boy was possibly underwater for 10 minutes,” according to Habersham County Emergency Services Director Chad Black.

TJ was flown to Scottish Rite in critical condition.

Jarrell said his department is investigating the boy’s drowning.

“Any incident of a serious nature that involves children is investigated. This is a tragic incident, and my heart hurts for the family,” Jarrell said in a statement.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Whitfield Funeral Home’s north chapel in Demorest, and the family will receive friends 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

“Our thoughts, love and prayers are with the Phongsavanh family and friends at this most difficult time,” McEntire said in a statement.



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