Good News: Mom’s Heroic Final Moments Remembered

A single-mom from Chicago is being remembered as a hero after drowning while saving the life of a relative’s 9-year-old boy. As her friends tell it, Karen Wessel was an exceptional woman in many ways. Wessel, her son, her sister, a friend, and two other children had traveled to a family vacation spot in Star Lake, Wisconsin, on Tuesday. The three kids were playing on a sandbar in the lake, but got too far out in the water, so Potocki and Wessel went into the water to rescue them. Wessel and Potocki managed to get two of the kids to safety, but the third – a 9-year-old boy – did not know how to swim, and was panicking as Potocki tried to get him out of the water. He struggled with her, and she became disoriented and nearly drowned herself before Wessel came to help her. As he struggled to use her own weight to hold him above the water, he continued to struggle. Although nearby boaters showed up to pull the boy out, Wessel went under. Efforts to revive Wessel did not succeed, she said, and she was pronounced dead an hour later after her organs failed. The boy who nearly drowned was doing well on Friday. Potocki said anyone who didn’t meet her sister “missed out on one of the kindest and most thoughtful people they will ever have the chance to know.” Click here to read more about this true hero!