Mother speaks with News 2 after losing son to gun accident

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) — Kara Slick isn’t happy if she isn’t doing something. Whether it’s on a bike, on the water, or in a tree stand.

For the past 15 years, what made her happiest was doing all these things with her son. That’s not possible anymore but six words they shared with each other every day stays with her and keep her going.

I asked Kara “Can you describe the pain of losing J-man”?

“I don’t think there are words to describe it,” she said. “It’s a pain and hole in your heart that you carry with you. You feel so heavy and empty you don’t want to go on but you have to. There’s no choice. He was playing a stupid game.”

The pain of losing a son few would blame her if she gave up. “I mean you wake up and I’m like ‘just tell me this is a nightmare’. It’s not easy.”

But what helps Kara move forward now is something the two of them heard years ago while at church. Six words: “Do good, be good, never quit.” Words they said to each other every day.

“It doesn’t matter how things go just don’t ever give up.”

Now Kara is training for the ironman triathlon in Louisville, Kentucky. She’s been in the process of training for it when the tragedy happened but instead of giving up, she remembered those words.

“I’m going to get it done and I’m not going to quit. I think about him, you know, I gotta practice what I preached.”

An ironman triathlon, a 2 point 4-mile swim, an 112-mile bike ride. She placed a tattoo of Johhny on her wrist so she can see it when she trains.

The training helps takes her mind off the pain. The time alone on the bike, in the water, and running, helps her to try to come to grips with what’s happened.
But an ironman, more than 140 miles, pushes her to the limits both pysically and mentally.

“I need to be out there,” Kara said. “I find peace, especially on the bike and I want to complete it. That’s the goal.”

I asked “Is that part of the healing process?” “I think so,” Kara added. ‘To finshing something I started and not quit. I keep saying it “Kara you can’t quit.”

Kara made good on those words. She did good — Was good, and didn’t quit. She finished the ironman triathalon in Lousiville in under 15 hours. She said j-man was with her every stroke, peddle, and step of the way.

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