116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Michael Jaramillo, 11, who died Sunday after being injured at Adventureland Park in Altoona, was “destined for greatness.”
Pastor Christian Shields, of Christian Life Church in Cedar Rapids, speaks highly of Michael and his family, who began attending the church a year and a half ago.
“This is a young man who was going to grow up to be a mighty man of God, a wonderful husband and great father,” Shields said. “I saw everything inside of this young man I would want in a husband for my daughter one day, and I was so encouraged about the path he was on, that he was choosing to help and to serve and to make good choices.”
On Saturday, July 3, Michael Jaramillo, his father David Jaramillo, and his brother, also named David Jaramillo, were injured at the Iowa amusement park when their raft on the Raging River ride flipped over.
They were trapped by their seat belts on the ride.
Two other riders who suffered injuries were family members.
Michael was removed from life support Sunday.
“We were there holding his hand, singing over him and praying over him when he passed,” Shields said.
David Jaramillo, Michael’s brother, whose 16th birthday is Wednesday, is in a medically induced coma in critical condition.
“The family is grieving the loss of their son, but what also is very important right now is David is in very bad condition," Shields said. "Prayers and support for David are really important right now.”
Michael and David’s father shattered his shoulder in the accident when the raft pinned him against a wall and he had to rip his shoulder out to get free, Shields said.
David Jaramillo, a semi-truck driver for a Cedar Rapids company, can't work right now, Shields said. The church has set up a GoFundMe for the family to help with their immediate expenses. GoFundMe is a social fundraising platform to raise money for events and challenging circumstances.
The Jaramillo’s GoFundMe can be found at gofundme.com/f/help-the-jaramillo-family.
“Even if he could work, he has to be with his son right now,” Shields said.
Michael Jaramillo was a student at Boulder Peak Intermediate School in Marion.
He had a great sense of humor, loved to laugh, and his favorite color was orange. His favorite toy was a pug dog that sang — a gift from his mother Sabrina Jaramillo on Valentine's Day, Shields said.
Michael volunteered at church weekly. As a fundraiser, congregants at Christian Life Church have cleaned the Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball stadium after games for the past two weeks. Michael was there almost every night volunteering, Shields said.
Recently, Michael and Shields played laser tag together.
"He was a fun, loving, sweetest kid I have ever met," Shields said.
About six months ago, Michael became a Christian and gave his life to Jesus.
“He's with Jesus,” Shields said. “He's not suffering anymore, but it sucks for us, and for David and Sabrina to lose their 11-year-old son is tragic. I can't imagine losing a kid. And then having to be there as he's drowning and not being able to do anything.”
The Jaramillo's weren't at fault for the accident, Shields said.
"We assume there will be a very thorough investigation and whoever is found to be at fault will be brought to justice," Shields said.
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