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