Messenger staff writer
Brandyn Preston, 20, died Sunday morning in Tampa, Fla.
Preston was the victim of a drive-by shooting on May 8, 2011. Preston was attending a bonfire party celebrating the high school graduation of a family member at 1101 10th Ave. S.W. when he was shot in the neck. He was the only person injured. The bullet lodged in Preston's spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed from the shoulders down, and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. Preston was taken to Iowa Methodist Medical Center.
News of Preston's death was posted on the Team Brandyn page on Facebook, administered by Preston's mother, Kimberly Susan Wood.
"My son wasn't getting better," she posted. "His better was being alive and breathing with the assistance of a ventilator day in and day out. The fact that he didn't die right where he was shot is the miracle. There is no getting better when you're dependent on a machine to live."
She added, "My baby boy was tired and was just hanging in there for the ones who loved him. Just like a true soldier he was taking one for the team. Rest In Peace, my miracle baby."
Preston was discharged from Iowa Methodist on June 7, according to Spokeswoman Amy Varcoe, after his condition stabilized. Wood, who lives in Tampa, had been attending to her son full-time since.
In September, Webster County Crime Stoppers announced an anonymous donor had given $5,000 for information leading to the capture of suspects in Preston's shooting.
The cause of Preston's death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy, Wood said.
Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com