Atlanta teen Mahki Jackson dies New Year’s Eve

ATLANTA — On New Year’s Eve, Mahki Jackson, 16, dropped dead in his living room.

His mother, Matika Jackson, said he had no prior health issues. Her holiday turned into a nightmare.

“It was just a normal day,” Jackson said. “He just fixed him something to eat. And he just collapsed.”

Earlier, Matika said Makhi complained of a headache and said he was going to go lie down. Matika said he never asked for pain medicine or to go to the doctor. 

Minutes later, Matika said she heard a bang against her glass table. She thought Makhi was joking around, as he often did. 

When Matika heard her younger son yelling, she knew it was no laughing matter. When she ran to the living room, she saw Makhi had passed out.

“He was bleeding from the mouth,” Matika said. “And he was making this sound.”

Matika said it resembled a growl. 

“Something I’ll never get out of my mind,” Matika said.

And it wasn’t the kind of sounds Matika was used to hearing from Makhi.  

“His favorite, favorite thing was the band,” Matika said. “He played the bass drums.”

Credit: Provided

Matika said her son went to South Atlanta High School.

“All day, you would just hear him tapping with his fingers,” Matika said. “I’m like, ‘Makhi, come on now.'”

Matika would give anything to hear that tapping again. Instead, she spent the day listening to her son’s pulse wither away. The family called 911. Matika said she started chest compressions until Makhi was taken to the emergency room. 

“That’s when the doctor told me that she really thinks it was a brain aneurysm,” Matika said.  

Aneurysms are very rare in children. 11Alive covered a similar story when Kayla Boyd died in Clayton County. 

Matika said she’s already in and out of the hospital due to her own medical issues—not her son’s. She said Makhi was healthy and active. 

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Officer said it may take time to determine the official cause of death. 

However, according to The Mayo Clinic, brain aneurysms are caused by thinning artery walls. The condition can happen anywhere in the brain and can happen to anyone

“And I just still don’t understand,” Matika said. “Like, it just doesn’t seem real.”

The Mayo Clinic explains that aneurysms can’t be prevented, but to lower your risk; don’t smoke or use drugs, drink in moderation, and monitor your blood pressure.

Until she gets answers, Matika is doing everything she can to heal her body and mind. 

“It’s a lot. And I’m trying to be as strong as I can, but I’m not going to lie. It’s really, really hard,” Matika said.

Matika said Makhi didn’t have life insurance. 

“I just didn’t think about my kids passing,” Matika said. “I just didn’t see it. And I was not prepared.” 

Matika launched an online fundraiser to help bury Makhi. You can donate online here. 


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