Ill. - Friends and family are mourning the death of an Illinois
woman who drowned after rescuing a 9-year-old boy in a Wisconsin
resident Karen Wessel, 47, died Tuesday, a news outlet reported.
Wessel was vacationing with her son and sister in Star Lake,
The Vilas County
Sheriff's Department said Wessel jumped in when a godson of a friend
was struggling. She pushed the boy to the surface and boaters pulled
him from the lake. Wessel then went under.
department said Wessel was taken by helicopter to a hospital in
Wausau, Wisconsin, where she was pronounced dead at 5:20 p.m.
Janice Potocki, also swam out to save the boy and two other children
who were all having trouble in the water.
"She is a hero
for saving the life of that 9-year-old boy," Potocki said.
"I almost drowned, too. We are totally in shock."
Neighbor Barb McCoy
described Wessel as "completely dedicated to her family,"
and said the neighborhood is devastated.
Wessel is survived
by her 9-year-old son and a 17-year-old daughter.