EPC students #PrayForJerritt, organize fundraiser

LEPANTO, AR (KAIT) - High school students have started an effort to help a classmate's family while he is in the hospital.

East Poinsett County High School students decided to put change jars in classrooms and local businesses, sell t-shirts, and start the Twitter hashtag #PrayForJerritt while ninth grader Jerritt Watts is at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"He's very nice. He talks to everybody. He's friends with everyone," said 14-year-old Hannah Hosman, who has known Jerritt since third grade.

Jerritt's mom Rose said Jerritt fell ill in December with what she thought was a cold. His condition worsened, and she took him to St. Bernards where doctors informed them Jerritt had mono and then pneumonia before they transferred him to St. Jude Friday night.

She said doctors have not confirmed what Jerritt is fighting against and he will have a full day of tests at St. Jude Thursday.

"The only thing that they have ruled out most definitely is leukemia, and they said there's still other chances of cancer and tumors."

While everyone waits for test results, EPC students are doing what they can to help Jerritt and his family.

"I really didn't know much about (his illness), but whenever I saw him the other day, we went to go see him at the hospital and I saw how bad it was and I was kind of heartbroken," said Jerritt's best friend Chance Gray.

Ninth grade class sponsor Hayden Tyler said EPC ninth graders voted on the t-shirt design.

"They do the hashtag #PrayForJerritt on everything, and so they wanted that to be on the shirt, and then of course he's an athlete and we're the warriors, so we are his prayer warriors, and 72 is his number."

Rose said Jerritt has a message for his classmates.

"Jerritt just wants everybody to know that he is so thankful and that he misses everybody."

To order a t-shirt call East Poinsett County High School at (870) 475-2331.

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