Mother of carbon monoxide victim starts Go Fund Me page

Published 9:16 am Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Among a collection of balloons, stuffed animals and candles, the memorial tribute to 13-year-old Bryan Douglas Watts, who died Saturday of carbon monoxide overexposure at the Quality Inn & Suites, showed just how beloved he was by members of the community.
Dozens of messages filled two poster boards at the memorial in front of the hotel.
Messages stated: “You will be missed,” “I love you”
and “R.I.P.”
A Go Fund Me has been started in Bryan’s honor and can be visited
Watts was one of seven children between the ages of 12 and 14 injured after a carbon monoxide leak Saturday at the Quality Inn & Suites, 1265 S. 11th St.
The Niles boy died before arriving at Lakeland Hospital in Niles, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Authorities traced the leak to a malfunctioning vent on a pool heater, just off of the pool room, which emitted more than 800 parts per million of carbon monoxide into the building.
Witnesses described the horror of seeing six children collapsed by the pool, just shortly before 10 a.m. Saturday. Authorities arrived to help the children, sending six to Memorial Hospital in South Bend.
The six other children who were hospitalized have been discharged, according to a spokesperson for Memorial Hospital.
Bryan’s mother, Paula describes just how unique her son was in the Go Fund Me post.
“He had an old soul and every time he opened his mouth, he amazed whomever he talked to,” Paula stated.
Among his many unique traits, Paula said her son cared for the well being of others, even if they were a stranger to him.
“Every time we [saw] a homeless person on the corner, Bryan gave his last to them,” Paula said.
He was also known to stand up for other children if they were being bullied or made fun of.
“Bryan was a giver and all the kids and adults loved him so much. He protected kids he didn’t even know because he did not like people being messed with,” Paula said.
Bryan also loved his family and his faith.
Bryan was a W-A-Y Forward student through the Niles Community Schools, which offered an online project based learning experience. He was also a member of the Y-Club, said Nicole Weber, the out of school program director.
“He was definitely a one-of-a-kind a kid,” Weber said. “He was very genuine.”
Paula asked for the community’s support in giving Bryan a proper goodbye.
“Again words cannot bring my child back,” Paula stated in the post. “I just want him to have the home going he wanted to have.”
The investigation continues:
Authorities are still investigating the tragedy, including whether or not the hotel had any carbon monoxide detectors, said Niles Fire Chief Larry Lamb. He could not say at this time whether or not it is required for the hotel to have the detectors, but that this information was expected to be released when the investigation was finished. There was no indication at this time as to when the investigation would wrap up.