Family remembers 15-year-old who died suddenly at Woodville-Tompkins

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – An entire community is mourning the loss of a 15-year-old who died unexpectedly at Woodville-Tompkins High School. Xytavious Middleton’s family says life will never be the same without their sweet, caring young man.

“Xytavious was just a great kid,” said his mother, Lakisha Middleton- Tiller. “It was a pleasure to be his mother.”

Middleton-Tiller and Middleton’s father, Shannon Tiller, say they loved their son for the way he loved others, especially his sister, Katavia Moore. Growing up, the pair did everything together.

“[Xytavious] was the sweetest person ever. He would do almost anything to make someone happy,” said Moore.

When he was not with his close-knit family at birthday parties or soccer games, Middleton was studying at Woodville-Tompkins to become a welder.

Middleton’s family says he was an active young man who enjoyed playing football and soccer. He religiously followed the Boston Celtics.

“You couldn’t have asked for a better son,” said Mr. Tiller. “I don’t know how we move on from not having him. He was just a wonderful force in our lives.”

Others who knew Middleton — including his fellow students and teachers — say they agree with Mr. Tiller: he was an amazing young man.

At 6’1”, Middleton’s parents say he was tall. But his calm demeanor, sweet smile and contagious laugh earned him the nickname ‘Gentle Giant.’

“When he laughed, his whole body would shake,” said Middleton-Tiller. “He would be so tickled. And his face would turn red. So everyone who met Xytavious just loved him instantly.”

That’s one reason Middleton’s death came as such a shock. Middleton’s family says he had no pain or health problems. He just collapsed.

The coroner told the family something — akin to a film — formed around his heart. They say it was unpreventable and happens often to active teenage boys.

“When the school first called me, I told them: I think you have the wrong child,” said Middleton-Tiller.

So now, Middleton’s family says they will forever remember him as the man who always did what was right.

“I was very proud of him for that,” said Mr. Tiller. “You very seldom see young men who want to go above and beyond like he did. And he always did his best.”

Middleton’s family needs help covering the cost of his funeral services, which will be held on Saturday. More than 150 people have already donated to their fund.

If you would like to help, the family says they are accepting donations through this GoFundMe.

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