Denise Staffon’s son was everything to her. Kelvin drowned Saturday at Smith Mountain Lake in Western Virginia.
“That was my only child. I’ll never have grandchildren. I don’t look old enough to be a grandma, but I sure wish I could be one at one time,” Staffon said.
Kelvin was with his grandmother, girlfriend, and friend, boating on the lake.
They got close to land, and that’s when things turned tragic.
“He jumped out of the boat to come in to swim to shore and as soon as he jumped in, the mud locked on him like quicksand,” Staffon said.
The friend jumped in to save Kelvin, but he too was taken in by the mud and died.
Denise was at work when she got the call.
“I just screamed and threw the phone, and I dropped to the ground,” Staffon said.
Making it even more painful was a five-hour car ride to bring her dead son back home.
“As far away as I was, it killed me,” Staffon said.
Then she saw her son’s body.
“There he was just laying there, just as handsome as ever,” Staffon said.
Kelvin had just graduated from Bruton High School. He played football, but somehow the athletic teen was taken over by the muddy lake. His mother can’t stop looking at photos of her late son, and thinking of what their last words were.
“I love you and I said be safe, every time I talked to him, I said ‘I love you and be safe,’” Staffon said.
Kelvin and his mother had each other, but little else.
Bringing his body back to Williamsburg cost her more than 600 dollars.
Then there’s the cost of the funeral– 6,000 dollars in addition to the pain she’s already feeling.
“I have absolutely nothing. I’m a single-mom, I don’t make 20, 000 dollars a year. They want 6, 000 dollars just to take care of this and it’s hard,” Staffon said.