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14-year-old from Encinitas dies while paddleboarding in Minnesota

"The coroner said that they found a hereditary, undiagnosed heart condition and he likely had a cardiac arrest like event," Stanley's father said.
Credit: GoFundMe / Eric Wilson

ENCINITAS, Calif. — The community of Encinitas is grieving the horrific loss of a 14-year-old star athlete, son, and all-around "kind-hearted teenager."

14-year-old Stanley Wilson was pronounced dead on August 9 at Star Lake in Minnesota after experiencing cardiac arrest and falling off his paddleboard while fishing.

"He was paddle boarding at his favorite spot in the world when he suddenly collapsed into the water. We got to him after 3-4 minutes under the water and pulled him up to give him desperate CPR, but he did not look good," Eric Wilson, Stanley's father, shared in a Facebook post.

Several first responding agencies in Minnesota, such as Crosslake, Pequot Lakes, and Breezy Lake police officers, responded to the scene alongside Crosslake Fire Department, according to the Crow Wing County Sheriff's office.

"They tried so hard - and I'll love them forever - but with tears in their eyes, you could tell it was not going well," Eric Wilson continued.

Stanley's father said he died right in his arms.

"During his fourteen years, he touched many lives with his sense of adventure, his kindness, his determination to be good at what he loved, and his love of his friends and family. All who knew him felt his passion for fishing, soccer, academics, his mom, his dad, sisters, family, and friends," said Virginia Palafox and Chelsea Crilly, who organized a GoFundMe for the family. 

Medical officials told Stanley's family that they found a hereditary, undiagnosed heart condition and he likely suffered a cardiac arrest-like event while on his paddle board.

Stanley's father shared a long, intimate Facebook post detailing the series of horrific events.

"I know it would bother Stanley if it were thought that he had made a clumsy mistake or slipped on a paddle board," Eric Wilson said. 

Losing your child is impossible. Many sweet people have said 'I cannot even imagine such a thing' - and I think - 'yea,...

Posted by Eric Wilson on Saturday, August 12, 2023

The family scheduled a celebration of life for Stanley to occur Wednesday, August 10, at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, where they planned to watch the sunset.

"Rest well, my sweet, sweet boy. - Big Dad," Eric Wilson said. 

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