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Utah family raises funds for life jacket loaner stations in honor of son who drowned at Willard Bay

Posted at 9:30 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 23:30:03-04

CLINTON, Utah — A grieving family hopes something positive can come from their loss.

Cheryl and Randy Bradley lost their son, Brigham, in the summer of 2013.

He drowned in Willard Bay while helping a friend sell a jet ski. Brigham wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

“It is obviously a life-altering experience, and there is no place in your brain to put that you’re burying your child,” Cheryl Bradley said.

Through the pain and agony of losing a son, the Bradley family is working to prevent others from experiencing a similar tragedy.

They are raising money to purchase life preservers to be placed at both the north and south marinas at Willard Bay.

“I can go to Willard Bay and focus on this positive thing,” Bradley said.

Cheryl became involved in this project thanks to the advice of a neighbor who lived through the pain of losing a child.

“My friend said, ‘Its a really good part of healing to focus on doing something positive,’” Bradley said.

The Bradleys will buy 60 life jackets. Each costs about $15.

They believe Brigham, who was a correctional officer with Weber County, would be proud of their efforts.

“He’d be the one up there doing the grunt work to put that in place, if he were still with us,” Cheryl said.

While there is no remedy for the agony of losing a loved one, the Bradleys want to turn their grief into something positive.

“This is the good part,” Cheryl said. “This is one of the good parts of the story.”

They hope the jackets remind people of the dangers of what can happen in the water.

“Its a visual reminder for other people,” Cheryl said. “Plus, it could become something that really ends up becoming life saving."

A small act that may prevent others from suffering an unimaginable heartbreak.

“It is still excruciatingly painful,” she said.

The Bradleys have a GoFundMe page where you can help them raise money to purchase more life preservers.