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'She was a hero': Family mourns 19-year-old who drowned saving cousin

Jazmyn Patterson was underwater at South Haven's South Beach for more than 5 minutes Tuesday. Her family says she lost her life on Wednesday.
Credit: Nikara Brandsen / Facebook
Undated photo of Jazmyn Patterson.

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. — "My sister is a hero, we all love you," Jazmyn Patterson's sister Nikara Brandsen wrote on Facebook. 

Patterson, 19, lost her life after a water incident at South Haven's South Beach Tuesday evening. 

Brandsen said that Patterson saved her child cousin from drowning, but was unable to save herself and was underwater for five minutes. 

According to a release from the South Haven Area Emergency Services, a group of good Samaritans in a small boat were able to pull her out of the water and take her to shore. 

RELATED: 19-year-old pulled from Lake Michigan, transported to hospital

Patterson was taken to Bronson South Haven. She was airlifted to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, but she did not survive. She died on Wednesday.

"My sister fought long and hard for her life," Brandsen said. "I was able to see her and talk to her and tell her how much she was loved and how so many people were praying for her. I'm asking for continuous prayers during this time and if you can help in any way my family would greatly appreciate it anything helps."

The family started a fundraiser on Facebook that has already raised more than $4,900 of its $5,000 goal.

"Jazmyn had her whole life to live she just turned 19 two weeks ago," Brandsen continued. "She had a heart of gold, always making people laugh, she was so kind and caring, smart and talented, and beautiful."

Credit: Nikara Brandsen / Facebook
An undated photo of Jazmyn Patterson.

SHAES said green flags were flying at South Haven beaches at the time of the incident. 

Credit: South Haven Area Emergency Services
Paramedics, fire personnel and South Haven Police Department officers helped administer CPR and other life saving measures.
Credit: South Haven Area Emergency Services

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