Family remembers boy killed in mill accident - FOX Carolina 21

Family remembers boy killed in mill accident

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Jonathan Myalik (Courtesy Jonathan Myalik's family) Jonathan Myalik (Courtesy Jonathan Myalik's family)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The tale of Jonathan Myalik's family reads like the Great American Dream.

Most of his family immigrated from Ukraine to the United States in 1992, arriving in New York before settling in the Upstate a few years later.

Jonathan was born in 2002 in Spartanburg County, where most of his family has remained since, owning businesses in Anderson and Spartanburg counties.

"I saw him grow up, he spent the summers all the time. We were a really close family, since it's my mom's sister's family. We were really close with them and the kids were always with us," said cousin Slavik Cholak.

Friday afternoon, that dream became a nightmare.

Jonathan suffered a traumatic brain injury while at a mill his family had owned. The Anderson County coroner said a grate that weighed several hundred pounds hit the child on the head.

"I went over there to see what was happening, and as I was pulling in, I saw my oldest brother on the phone and he was crying. When I asked him what happened, he said, 'Just pray for Jonathan, he's seriously hurt,'" said Cholak.

Cholak says rescuers were still tending to the 10-year-old, and he was still breathing when he was airlifted to Greenville Memorial. By the time Jonathan arrived at the hospital, doctors said he was brain dead. By Saturday morning, he was taken off life support.

Recounting the events of Saturday morning, Cholak remembered what Jonathan's mother had said: "She said, 'God gave us this child for this time being, and if it's His will to take him, we can't really go against His will.'"

The Anderson County coroner said what happened at the mill was an accident.

That accident has left a hole in Jonathan's family. Cholak says the boy's mother and father are still coping with their loss, as are his siblings.

Jonathan's visitation took place Sunday night, with a funeral Monday morning.

The family of Jonathan Myalik is needing help with expenses associated with his brief hospital stay, as we're told they didn't have insurance for the boy.

Cash donations are being accepted at the family's businesses located at 9139 Warren Abernathy Hwy. in Spartanburg and at 413 Bypass 29 N. in Anderson.

The family is also planning on setting up a memorial fund.

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