Thousands of strangers are reaching out to the family of a young Iowa boy who passed away on Saturday after battling health problems for years.
The 7-year-old boy, Will Kohn, had been fighting heart problems since his birth. According to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Kohn was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a birth defect in which the left side of the heart is underdeveloped.
By age 6, Will already had four open heart surgeries, and was on a waiting list for a heart transplant. The family set up a Facebook page devoted to Will’s health battles that attracted thousands of followers. He was finally given a new heart last September.
Earlier this year, the family reported that tests had shown tumours throughout Will’s GI tract.
On Saturday, the boy’s family said in a Facebook post that Will passed away that early afternoon.
“Will fought one hell of a fight for seven years but he left us peacefully early this afternoon. He can now be the boy we always dreamed him to be able to be. He can run around, shoot hoops and just be a normal 7 year old boy,” the post reads.
Thousands of strangers have since reacted to the post, consoling the family for their loss. As of Sunday afternoon, the post had received over 2,200 comments.
One of the comments reads, “Heartbroken for you both. Will knew what it was to be loved completely by 2 dedicated, selfless parents. Praying that you will find comfort in the beautiful memories of him and the hope of seeing him whole and complete again one day.”
Another comment says, “He made such a big impact on so many of us. Will taught so many people so many things just by being the sweet adorable strong little fighter that he was. I never had the privilege of meeting him but Will, his parents, and his community taught us about faith, hope, determination, love, and acceptance.”