PARKER, Colo. -- A first grader has died due to complications related to a strep throat infection, the Douglas County School District confirmed Tuesday.
The school district sent a note to parents at Pine Lane Elementary School in Parker Monday night, informing them that a 1st grader had died. On Tuesday, the school posted a tribute to the youngster on its website.
That tribute was written by the boy's mother and father. His dad is a firefighter.
“[He] was an amazing boy who touched so many hearts with his personality and outgoing nature," the note read. "He will forever ride on my Engine Company as my honorary fireman and true brave hero. He wanted nothing more than to be a fireman just like Dad.
"I think he would have been better."
The boy went to a clinic on Friday where his family was told he was fine, and then he died on Saturday.
His father says they were told he had strep, but he also says the boy was not showing any of the common signs of the illness. The officials cause of death has not been released yet.
Douglas County School District spokesman Randy Barber said that while such severe cases of strep are rare, the sickness is likely to pose a greater threat to students in 2012 than usual.
"Health officials say that this year, they have seen an increase in influenza, strep and stomach viruses in the community," Barber said. "The Tri-County Health Department recommends that all children and adults should stay home until they have been symptom free for 48 hours."
Barber went on to say that the health department has assured administrators there is no need to quarantine students attending Pine Lane or any of the district's other schools.
A memorial fund has been set up to honor the boy's memory. Donations can be mailed in or dropped off to:
Credit Union of Colorado
19311 E. Plaza Drive
Parker, CO. 80138
Make your checks payable to: Credit Union of Colorado. In your memo line please write: Account #: 2175700