Boy, 1, dies after being left in hot car when grandmother passes - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Boy, 1, dies after being left in hot car when grandmother passes out

Joe "Jojo" Lockaby" died May 31 after his grandmother found him unresponsive in a hot car. (Source: Crista McElhannon/WHNS/CNN) Joe "Jojo" Lockaby" died May 31 after his grandmother found him unresponsive in a hot car. (Source: Crista McElhannon/WHNS/CNN)

GREENVILLE, SC (WHNS/CNN) – It was supposed to be a quick trip to McDonald’s for a 1-year-old South Carolina boy and his grandmother, but it turned tragic when the grandmother passed out – with the boy inside a vehicle on a hot day.

Crista McElhannon, the mother of 1-year-old Joe "Jojo" Lockaby, says she believes her son was an angel, leaving her with joy and memories she’ll carry for the rest of her life.

The mother says Jojo was at his grandmother’s house in Greenville, SC, for a sleepover on May 31. She says the 1-year-old took a short nap, and when his grandmother woke him, he was fussy.

"She thought, ‘Well maybe he's hungry and wants something to eat,’ so she decided to take him to McDonald's, and she was going to get him a Happy Meal. That was always something they had done together,” McElhannon said.

The grandmother got her purse and put Jojo in the car, before she realized she left her keys in the house.

McElhannon says her stepmother didn’t even make it two steps into the house when she passed out, having suffered from a medical event.

When she came to, it was too late.

The grandmother got Jojo out of the car, but he was unresponsive, according to the coroner.

"She opened the door and went to get him out of the car seat, and he felt really hot,” McElhannon said.

Jojo was breathing shallowly, and his grandmother called 911, who told her to start doing CPR – but she didn’t know how.

The boy was pronounced dead on scene.

"I was worried about the way that everything had happened, that he had suffered,” McElhannon said.

The mother says she was in the living room, praying for a sign or an answer, and she got one.

"One of his toys he used to sleep with, you could mash its stomach, and it would play a lullaby. Well, I started hearing that lullaby,” she said.

McElhannon believes it was Jojo, sending her a message that he was happy.

And with the boy’s baby sister in her arms, his mother says she has a message for other moms, something she’d give anything to tell Jojo one more time.

"Just whisper ‘I love you’ to them, just one more time, because you never know when it's going to be the last time you get to tell them that,” McElhannon said.

The case is under investigation. Results from an autopsy performed June 1 have not yet been released.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Jojo’s family with funeral expenses.

Copyright 2018 WHNS, Crista McElhannon via CNN. All rights reserved.

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