Sunday, June 29, 2008

Slain trooper's baby continues to gain weight, still hospitalized

David Blanton, grandfather of Tye Blanton, and his mother Michaela Blanton are pictured with the baby immediately following his baptism Wednesday, June 25. Family members looking on include, from left, Mary Youngbird, maternal grandmother of Tye’s father, Trooper Shawn Blanton; Jennifer Blanton, Shawn’s stepmother; Nikki Nations, Shawn’s paternal grandmother, and at center, Jeanell Youngbird, Shawn’s mother. - Special to the Citizen-Times

Mike McWilliams • • published June 28, 2008 7:24 pm

ASHEVILLE – The prematurely born son of slain state trooper David Shawn Blanton, Jr., continued to gain weight Saturday.

In a statement released by Mission Hospitals, Michaela Blanton said her son, Tye, now weighs 3 pounds, gaining an ounce since Friday. Tye, who was born about seven weeks early on May 31, weighed 2 pounds, seven ounces at birth. He also has grown from 14 inches to 15 1/2 inches since birth.

“He’s a fighter, like his daddy,” Blanton said in the statement.

Tye remains in critical condition at Mission Hospitals. He has a heart condition that will require surgery at Duke University Medical Center.

Blanton, 24, died June 17 at the hospital after he was shot twice on the side of Interstate 40 near Canton. More than 2,000 people attended his funeral.

Michaela Blanton also said Saturday that Tye was baptized Wednesday at Mission’s neonatal intensive care unit. The Rev. David Christy, senior pastor at Central United Methodist Church of Canton, performed the baptism. Christy married Michaela and Shawn and officiated Blanton’s funeral.

About 15 family and friends attended the baptism, Blanton said.

“It was very peaceful and beautiful,” she said.

Blanton also expressed appreciation for “the tremendous outpouring of concern and love,” at a benefit Friday at Andy Shaw Ford in Sylva.

“I’m humbled by the generosity of the people, both their contributions and even more, just by being there,” Blanton said. “It was so good to have an event where people could come and just be happy with us.”

Blanton also thanked the community for the prayers for Tye and asked that the prayers continue.

Funds set up to benefit Michaela and Brendan Tye Blanton include the Trooper David Blanton Memorial Fund. Contributions can be made at Mountain Credit Union branches.

Contributions to the Michaela Nicole Blanton FBO Brendan Tye Blanton fund can be made at N.C. State Employees Credit Union branches. Checks can be mailed to SECU, c/o Michaela Nicole Blanton FBO Brendan Tye Blanton, P.O. Box 97, Waynesville, NC 28786.

Authorities have said they will seek the death penalty against Edwardo Wong II, 37, of Florida, who is charged with first-degree murder and robbery in Blanton’s death.

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