Mom mourns the loss of a son who drowned, saying he liked to live life to the fullest

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. -- A mother is grieving the death of her son and prays she'll find a way to lay him to rest. Her son was 18 years old and she’s not the only parent mourning a child who drowned over the weekend.

On Saturday, Heather Nolen’s son Timothy drowned while swimming in Longview Lake. Sunday a seven-year-old boy drowned at an apartment pool in Kansas City, Mo. and on the Kansas side another man drowned in Hillsdale Lake, the second drowning there in a month.

Nolen says it's hard to believe her first-born son is dead. She says it's even more painful knowing she doesn't have the money to bury her son.

“I miss him so much and all I can do is pray and hope we get some help,” she said.

Nolen said when her son who she calls “TJ” went to Longview Lake with his brother and friends on Saturday, they intended to hangout and swim for a few hours. Nolen said a dip in the lake turned deadly when TJ, his brother and a friend decided to swim 200 yards across the cove.

“He liked to live life to the fullest. He did. He wanted to experience anything and everything imaginable,” Nolen said.

Michelle Wahnon, TJ's sister-in-law, said she told the trio it wasn't a good idea to swim across the cove, but they went in and she said she drove around the cove to meet them on the other side.

“By the time we got there they were screaming for help,” Wahnon said. “They got about half-way across and TJ started to go down he screamed for my husband saying, ‘Tyler, please help me. I can't make it, I can't make it.’ So Tyler went back and he started to drown."

Wahnon said TJ’s friend helped her husband to shore, but TJ had slipped under the water.

“I tried to swim every which direction. I tried to feel with my feet with my hands,” Wahnon said.

Wahnon said she did her best to find her brother-in-law, but she said her best wasn't good enough. Nolen says while her heart is heavy she believes God will provide a way to lighten her load.

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