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Boy nearly drowns in Pelican Lake

The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office has identified the 3-year-old boy who nearly drowned in Pelican Lake at Breezy Point Resort on Friday, July 18, as Emett Weigel of Napoleon, North Dakota.

Weigel was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) in Minneapolis by North Aircare following CPR on the scene. HCMC officials reported Tuesday, July 22, that Weigel remains in critical condition.

The Breezy Point Police Department responded to the incident and was assisted by the Crosslake Police Department and Zone 3 First Responders in addition to North Ambulance.

Weigel and his parents, Charles and Danielle, were at Breezy Point Resort for the weekend wedding of Charles' sister, Desirae Weigel. When Emett could not be found, they called police, who located the boy in the water, according to law enforcement. No one saw the child fall in.

A CaringBridge journal posting Charles Weigel made Tuesday indicated they would learn more about EEG and MRI tests that were conducted Monday to determine if any brain damage has occurred. According to an earlier entry, doctors did see generalized brain swelling, but this was expected because of the lack of oxygen, and no evidence of brain bleeding or trauma was detected.

Weigel said he was awoken at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday when Emett began moving during his bath, the CaringBridge site said.

"He would pick up his arms and lift his legs and it looked like he was stretching, as we all would after not moving for three to four days," he wrote. He added that doctors planned to reduce sedatives to see what kinds of responses the boy would have.

Weigel also wrote on his Facebook account how volunteers have come forward to assist with his business, Total Life Chiropractic in Napoleon, while he is in the hospital with his son.

"Many chiropractors ... have so graciously offered to each take a day away from their families and patients and fill in for me at the office for as long as it takes for us to return," Weigel wrote. "So please feel free to stop on in and at least thank all the different chiropractors who have offered to help out."

He added the office would not be billing insurance during the time he is away and will be accepting free will offerings for adjustments.

A benefit fund has been established in Emett Weigler's name. Checks can be made payable to the "Emett Weigel Benefit." Checks can be mailed to Cornerstone Bank, c/o Derek Weigel, 2112 N. 12th St., Bismarck, ND 58501.

Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.

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