‘Humble prayers:’ Brunswick day care owner speaks out after child choked to death on watermelon

BRUNSWICK, Ga. — The owner of Kids Nest Learning Center told Action News Jax on Friday his staff responded appropriately when 16-month-old year Jamal Bryant Jr. was choking on a watermelon in May.

This comes after a license revocation was issued for the day care on Thursday.


“Humble prayers go out to the family, the immediate family, and the employers that were involved,” Kids Nest owner Charles Grant said.

Jamal died on May 21 at a hospital in Brunswick, Ga. Since his death, Action News Jax learned all the employees were not CPR-certified.

“Five people were in the room with him. Of those five, three were certified. They did exactly what they were supposed to do, and I’m proud of them,” Grant said.

RELATED: Brunswick day care license revoked after one-year-old choked to death

According to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning, only one out of the five staff members had valid evidence of proper training.

We asked Grant why all staff weren’t fully certified.

“One young lady was brand new. Per the state, we have so many days to become certified. Same thing with the second lady, she was new,” Grant said.

RELATED: ‘Slap in the face:’ Family speaks out after baby dies after incident at Brunswick day care

Jamal’s aunt Melissa Alston said, “At what point did your staff do the correct thing.”

In a sit-down interview, the family expressed what they had to say about Grant’s comments.

“My nephew had to work up to a teacher to help him. Neither of those ladies were CPR certified,” Alston said.

RELATED: Brunswick daycare facing closure after one-year-old choked to death

Jamal’s cousin Cheryle Alston said, “With them not being qualified, too much time was consumed when he was choking.”

In a report, it said staff did not call 911 for one minute and forty-eight seconds.

The family gave their thoughts on the future of the daycare.

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“There shouldn’t be a future. We buried Jamal, they need to bury the Kid’s Nest,” Melissa Alston said.

A letter from the state cites “uncorrectable abuses” and said the daycare’s license will be revoked.

We’re told Grant will appeal that decision.

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“If we reopen, we will have to make some room for improvements. If we close, we will still have to make room for improvements,” Grant said.

Jamal’s family filed a lawsuit against the daycare and its owner on Tuesday, June 11.

The daycare now has a sign posted on its door stating its license is revoked, and it will remain closed.

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