Auberry boy, 10, dies from rare illnesses

February 18, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A 10-year-old Auberry boy has died after battling a rare combination of illnesses. Joshua Mark Hansen's story touched many in the foothill community, and around the Valley, sparking a blood drive under his name.

Joshua Mark Hansen's aunt came close to tears, describing how the 10-year-old boy's battle, came to an end Sunday.

"He seemed to be getting a little bit stronger at times, and his heart seemed stronger," Missy Hansen said. "But the lung issue never really improved."

Family members say Joshua was on life support at Stanford's children's hospital for nearly two weeks.

The Auberry boy was fighting a rare complication of bacterial pneumonia that required daily blood transfusions.

On top of that, Joshua's blood type was O Negative. Which only 6.5 percent of the population has.

More than 400 people donated blood under Joshua's name at the Central California Blood Center in Northwest Fresno to build its blood supply.

The family even set up a Facebook page so people could track Joshua's progress. Countless messages of support came in, following his passing.

Missy Hansen explained, "They just want everybody to know, how incredible everybody has been in supporting them and putting it into words how much they cared."

Joshua was a fifth grader at Foothill Elementary in Prather, and played in many sports.

"Joshua was just very special," Missy Hansen said. "He touched you. His smile penetrated you."

This isn't the first tragic incident to shake Foothill Elementary this year. Just last month, one of Joshua's classmates was accidentally killed with a pellet gun.

Pat Taylor-Brown said, "Within 6 weeks we have lost 2 5th grade boys, both amazing."

Pat Taylor-Brown taught both Joshua and Kevin Hannah - the boy struck with the pellet gun. She says the children were hoping josh would recover.

"Our community is very strong in that the parents and teachers and administrators," Pat Taylor-Brown said. "We live in this area and we've watched these students grow."

Now this foothill community has to come together once again. And say goodbye to a child that touched many lives.


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