‘Most selfless person’: Community remembers life of 18-year-old

Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 6:08 PM EST
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The community celebrates the life of an 18-year-old who died on Jan. 27 due to a medical complication.

Ethan Franklin will be honored at a memorial on Saturday at Lakemont Presbyterian Church off Pleasant Home Road.

The service will begin at 2 p.m. but any flowers should be delivered to the church afternoon that day.

Family, friends, and those who know him have shown a large response to losing this young boy so suddenly.

Franklin’s mother, Kristin Franklin, said, “I would describe Ethan as caring, passionate thoughtful hard-working, he just had a dry sense of humor and was a Christian. I was so blessed to have been his mom for 18 years.”

Kaitlyn Montano, Franklin’s sister, says, “He may forever be only 18, but only someone who lived a millennium could outlive him.”

According to Ethan’s mother, Franklin had been sick since Dec. 26 when he began to show symptoms of a cold.

“When they got out for Christmas break, Ethan wasn’t feeling good. It was kind of like cold symptoms. So I just kind of treated it as a cold. The day after Christmas, he just wasn’t getting better. So we started going to the doctor, and on Dec. 31, he was kind of like, not real,” she says.

When treated in the hospital, he was diagnosed with bronchitis, during the follow-up appointment, x-rays showed he had pneumonia. He stayed three nights and was treated with IV antibiotics and then he was released, according to his mother.

He began to show signs of getting better when he went for his follow-up appointment on Tuesday, where doctors stated he had a fever the night before meaning the pneumonia wasn’t getting better.

According to his mother, doctors decided he should stay to receive more antibiotics and later found an encapsulated area. Doctors told the Franklin family the best way to treat it was to go in, clean it out and get a sample to find out what kind of pneumonia to treat him further.

During the bronchoscopy, the encapsulated area ruptured causing his pulmonary artery to rupture and him to go into cardiac arrest. Doctors did several rounds of cardiac resuscitation, according to the family.

“I was there. I heard everything going on. Without a shadow of a doubt. I know everything was done for him. In 30 years of being a nurse, I’ve never seen that happen. Other friends of mine, they’ve never seen it happen. So it was inevitable. That it was gonna rupture. He could have been at home with us when it ruptured. So he was in the best situation for that to happen,” his mom shares.

Franklin, an Evans High school senior, planned to either become a game warden or nurse after graduating. He thought about becoming a nurse to follow in the footsteps of his mom, Kristin Franklin, who is a nurse. He loved to help people and animals, and even though we will never know how he would have continued to help, he helped many throughout his life.

Barrett Neal, Franklin’s best friend, says, “Ethan was the most selfless, kind-hearted, hard-working boy. He would stop what he was doing to come to help me if I needed him. One day I took him to go eat and forgot my wallet. Ethan said don’t worry about it I’ll pay for you. Later I found out he had spent the last little bit of money he had just for me to eat.”

Franklin’s father, Pat Franklin, got his first tattoo to honor his son, getting Franklin’s fingerprint, along with his birth and death date.

“I’m not a tattoo guy, but this is a good one though,” his dad said.

Franklin loved to hunt, fish, attend church, and be with his friends and family.

Neal said, “That picture of him holding that turkey, was the first turkey he killed on his birthday. The night before he stayed with me, he said Barrett do you know how cool it would be if I killed that turkey on my birthday? My first turkey! So that next morning, I took him out there to get that turkey. And as soon as he shot, that boy took off running with the biggest smile on his face. That will forever be one of my best memories. I love you bubba.”

Franklin only be 18-years-old was described to be selfless, loving, genuine, and one of a kind.

Ryan Carson, one of Franklin’s best friends, says, “He was the most selfless person you could meet. He would give the shirt off his back or the last dime in his pocket to anyone. His smile and laugh were super contagious and lit up the entire room. We had some of the best memories of hunting and fishing. He was one of a kind. The memories will last forever.”

Matthew Carson, the youngest Carson brother and one of Franklin’s friends, says, “He taught me a lot that I will now teach other people and tell them that Ethan Franklin taught me. When I first heard he was gone, I didn’t believe it so I called his mom who said, hey, he passed, I couldn’t breathe.”

Grayson Boyd, another best friend to Franklin, says, “God had a plan for Ethan’s life and I believe his plan was for Ethan to bring others closer together. He was the most down-to-earth. Just a plain ole good guy.”

Cole Glover, Franklin’s friend, says, “He was just all around a good friend. He taught me to better person he gave everyone a chance never judge a book by it’s cover. I will tell you this there will never be a friend like Ethan Franklin.”

Franklin’s sister shared a story in hopes of sharing how funny Franklin was, “It was real, real cold. Ethan was super cold and had to go to the restroom, this is going to be so mean to him, but he’s sliding off the back of the horse and he starts to pee his pants and says ‘man that feels warm.’ Sorry, Ethan.”

As sweet as Franklin was, he was known to be funny and always joking with everyone.

“It’s quality over quantity of friends so when you think Ethan has 25,000 friends like oh they’re probably not that good of friends, but you see his friends now and you’re like I have two friends and he has 25,000,” Franklin’s sister says.

To be so young, Franklin made a huge impact on so many people. His memory will never be forgotten.