Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

August 13, 2013

Child whose failing health inspired prayer effort dies at age 1

ALTO — Little Cooper Low was born with a heart defect so severe physicians had not expected him to survive birth. However, to his family's delight, he lived.

Cooper would have been 2 years old next week had he not suffered fatal heart complications Friday, his pastor explained. The 1-year-old died in a Houston hospital Friday.

“The doctors tried valiantly to save him, but he just couldn't survive,” said the family's pastor, Gary L. Pridmore of the First Baptist Church of Alto.

During his short life, Cooper's failing health prompted his church community to circulate signs along Cherokee County roads urging passersby to “Pray For Cooper.” After it picked up steam, another child also named Cooper was added to this prayer effort.

A funeral service for Cooper Low is planned for 3 p.m. Wednesday in the First Baptist Church in Alto – with  Pridmore officiating. Burial will be held in the Low Family Cemetery.

There will be no visitation, according to the child's obituary from O.T. Allen & Son Funeral Home of Alto.

Born in Houston to Heath and Lisa Low, the youngster was said to have a special love for both cows and Mickey Mouse.

Indeed, Cooper was loved ferociously by his family. But his health was always precarious and would constantly plummet during his brief life, the pastor said.

“Cooper's health would improve for awhile, and then he would start having episodes of difficulty again,”  Pridmore said.  

Most recently, Cooper had been waiting for a heart transplant. But a donor could not be located in time. The child waited seven months without success, the pastor said.

“Because they couldn't find a donor in time, they had no choice but to put him on a mechanical heart,” Pridmore said.  

Cooper's family is devastated by his death, the pastor said.

“They are very, very, drained and just in deep emotional distress,” the pastor  said. “They went through such a roller coaster. Cooper was better one minute and worse the next. There was hope and then there wasn't. It was such a back-and-forth they really were pushed beyond their limits.”

Many Cherokee County motorists saw the “Pray For Cooper” signs. At one point, at least 30 signs adorned Highway 69 from Alto to Wells.

Meanwhile, the other Cooper for whom the prayer effort was named is Cooper Calvin Somers, an Humble-area boy with relatives in Rusk who suffers from Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

This other Cooper turns 3 in August, according to the “Cooper's Crusaders” Facebook page established by his mother, Crystal Somers.

Cooper's Crusaders was developed to raise awareness of  Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 1/2 and help meet Cooper's medical needs, his mother has said.

Cooper Somers, incidentally, has known more tragedy in his young life than many adults. His father, Jason, died on Dec. 18, 2012 when he was killed in a car accident on the way to work.

Cooper's mother said the memory of her late husband drives her forward in her quest to provide her son with the best life possible.

There's still a lot to pray for, she said.

“I know Jason is with us and watching over us and with God's help will guide Cooper and I on our new journey in life,” she wrote on Facebook.

Text Only
Local News
  • UPDATE: County co-op says many customers may not have power until Friday

    July 24, 2014

  • Old Jville Bearden Store.tif Longtime furniture store changes hands

    For the better part of a century, Bearden Furniture Co., Inc., has been the go-to place for local residents wanting to beautify their home.
    Furniture and accessories, carpeting, window treatments – even electronics at one point – were offered at the Commerce Street store, but on July 1, the family who started Bearden's sold the company to Louisiana-based Ivan Smith Furniture company.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Athens woman confesses to killing daughter

    A 25-year-old mother is in the Henderson County Jail after telling authorities that she had killed her four-year-old daughter, Monday

    July 24, 2014

  • Bullard: District names Jan Hill as deputy superintendent

    Bullard Independent School District is proud to announce Jan Hill as Deputy Superinten-dent. Hill will assume the new role effective immediately.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Christmas in July’ drive benefits area foster children

    Sure, December is still more than five months away, but Cherokee County residents are getting the chance to start spreading some holiday cheer a little early this year during the annual Christmas in July donation drive, benefitting the county's Rainbow Room.

    July 24, 2014

  • 2014-2015 Jacksonville Leadership Institute opens enrollment

    What is Jacksonville Leadership Institute?
    Jacksonville Leadership Institute is a program through the Jacksonville, Texas Chamber of Commerce. A new class is formed each September.

    July 24, 2014

  • Jacksonville continues its mosquito spraying schedule

    The City of Jacksonville will continue implementing its summer mosquito spraying program next week by spraying areas 7 and 11.

    July 24, 2014

  • RuskProtestMain.tif Rusk protest highlights views concerning border issues

    Several Texans gathered Saturday in Rusk -- not only to protest the recent federally-sponsored flood of illegal immigrants into the U.S., but to demand state officials to do something about it.
    Nearly 20 concerned citizens gathered at the intersection of U.S. highways 69 and 84 Saturday afternoon, waving flags and hand-lettered signs asking for secure borders and better action on the matter.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • RISD board mulls $16M budget

    Local school board members are considering a $16,671,955 proposed general fund budget for Rusk ISD's upcoming fiscal year – which begins Sept. 1 – but are nowhere near close to adopting the budget, said Lesa Jones, assistant district superintendent for finance and operation.

    July 22, 2014

  • National Night Out to return to Jacksonville

    National Night Out ( NNO) festivities will be returning  to Jacksonville this year.
    Jacksonville Police Crime Prevention Officer Detective Tonya Harris said all Jacksonville residents are encouraged to participate this year by sponsoring or attending a National Night Out party on Oct. 7.

    July 22, 2014