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Family of 5-year-old killed by spider bite to carry out boy’s final Christmas wish

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Posted at 2:33 PM, Nov 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-30 20:55:43-05

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala.  — Five-year-old Branson Carlisle had a plan his parents are proud of, but although a rare instance changed his family’s life forever, they’re still going to carry out his wish.

“He was always barefoot. He never wore his shoes,” Jessica Carlisle told WHNT as she clicked her way through memories on a desktop computer. She smiled at some pictures and looked thoughtful at others.

Looking through all of the pictures will take a while since Carlisle has hundreds of them. That's because for five years most of those pictures focus on her son Branson.

Those pictures show him smiling, grinning, and in one instance, standing in a bucket. But what they don’t show is his big heart.

“He wanted all the kids in Africa to have toys,” Carlisle said. “I mean he was going to give his own toys.”

Branson would go around the house collecting his own toys to give away.

Last Sunday though, his plan was overtaken before his family headed off to church.

“He asked me to scratch his back. He said something had bit him,” Carlisle explained.

The bite came from a brown recluse spider.

“Whenever I went to pick up his shirt the spider was laying beside his shirt,” Carlisle said.

They took Branson to a local care center, but the bite got worse.

Carlisle and some other family members went to the hospital with Branson. But throughout it all, Branson was his normal self. After a while though, Branson shut his eyes and his heart stopped.

“The only time they got his heartbeat back was the seventeenth time they shocked him, and they had his heart beating for four seconds, and I had enough time to tell him I loved him,” Carlisle said.

She and her family are going to carry out Branson’s wish to donate his Christmas presents to kids who won’t get any beause that is what Branson wanted to do.

“I feel very blessed to have had him, and I’m not going to question it, because it was meant to be,” Carlisle said.

Branson’s family said he was a normal, healthy boy.

The family also said they had pest control come once a month to their home.