LOUISBURG, Kan. -- A 12-year-old boy suddenly died of bacterial meningitis. It's a rare strain and doctors say this particular strain is not contagious. It happened in Louisburg, which is about 40 miles south of Kansas City.
Just a few days ago, 12-year-old Aaron Willard, was healthy and happy. But within 24-hours, that all changed.
"I watched it. Words can't describe it. The horrible images I have to live with. I know he wasn't alone," said Willard's aunt, Melissa Farr, as she wiped away tears. "His grandma and I were there with him. He's free now. He can do anything he wants."
While most strains of bacterial meningitis are contagious, the one that took Aaron's life is not, so it is not a public health risk.
"They said he wasn't contagious, so that doesn't make sense to me. I don't know how he got in contact with it," said Pam Poore of her grandson.
The family was unprepared for this tragedy. Now, they are urgently putting together funeral arrangements and asking the public for help.
"You don't ever think you're going to ever bury your children or grandchildren," Poore said.
"You don’t have a plot picked out, you don’t have a casket, you don’t have any of that kind of stuff that goes along because who would? Being so sudden," Farr added.
As the family continues to lean on each other for support, they’re left with only memories of a boy whose life was cut too short.
If you want to help the family, visit FBCStilwell.org. Under the "Contact Us" tab, there is a "Giving" tab. Choose the "Aaron Willard Fund" to donate.