Counselors on hand in Prather after death of classmate
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Counselors were on hand at Foothill Elementary in Prather to talk with kids about the passing of one of their classmates.
Joshua Hansen, 10, was laid to rest over the weekend after dying from a rare complication.
It was a somber day at Foothill Elementary, as many students returned from a week off to hear of the passing of one of their own, Joshua Mark Hansen.
Foothill Elementary Principal Brad Barcus said, "Some of these kids knew Josh really well and we want to be sure that we are supporting them in whatever they need."
Hayden Taschler said, "It hit me pretty hard, at first I didn't believe it."
Taschler was good friends with Joshua, who he described as a nice person with a caring heart.
"If people were down, he would bring them up, in sports he was really good too with teammates," said Taschler.
Joshua played in many sports, including basketball. He was on the verge of going with his team to the playoffs, until he fell ill with bacterial pneumonia earlier this month.
His condition required him to get daily blood transfusions. And hundreds stepped in to help. But Joshua's condition worsened and he died last week.
Coach Brance Taschler said, "We're going to miss him, you know. It's tough not having him in the lineup."
Basketball Coach Brance Taschler says Joshua was selfless, both on and off the court. He'll be missed by the entire team.
"This is the actual jersey that he wore during the season and all the kids signed it and we were wishing him well at that point," said Coach Taschler.
And although Joshua never got to see that jersey, his teammates have played each game for Joshua, and made it to Monday night's divisional championship game.
Joshua's friend, Taschler said, "We're still winning for him."
But even with one less person on the team, Joshua's presence is still alive and well.
"When we break from our timeouts and huddles, we don't say 1,2,3 team, or bulls, we say Josh," said Coach Taschler. "And it's 1,2,3 Josh.
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