A 14-year-old boy with no known prior medical history has died suddenly in his sleep.
William Pfeiffer, from Queenstown, Adelaide, spent his final hours at his grandparents’ house last Sunday, when he fell asleep and didn’t wake up.
His devastated parents, Karen Lynch and Mike Shaw, said William was a “happy and healthy” boy with a heart of gold.
They are awaiting autopsy results to learn more about what happened to their son.
They say William had no prior medical history that could explain the shocking event, and did not exhibit any concerning symptoms the night he died.
Nicole Banns, a long-term friend of Ms Lynch, said William had gone to bed “happy and healthy,” during a sleepover with his siblings at their grandparents’ house.
“I think they just realised that he was sleeping in bed and they checked on him and realised that something wasn’t right,” the 42-year-old told The Advertiser.
“(The family) is devastated as you can image, it’s just traumatic and it’s just so unfair.
“They’re just really emotional and struggling to get through it.
“It’s affected everyone, and I’ve seen her house and it’s full of flowers and full of food that people have been bringing.”
Ms Banns, who has known Ms Lynch since high school, said William was “like sunshine”.
“He was such a happy kid whose smile just beamed and he has was a bit of a clown and a jokester, and he used to make everybody laugh” she said.
“He loved his loud, crazy socks. He’d wear bright socks all the time he was a bit of a funny little character.
“He had a heart of gold, so likeable and he was such a good kid as well. Like he would never do anything wrong. He was just so good.”
Principal Joe Corbo said Gleeson College, where William went to school, had been in mourning since hearing about the youngster’s death/
“On Monday I was surprised how quiet the schoolyard was with 860 students,” Mr Corbo told the publication.
The school has placed a photo of William on the altar at its on-site chapel where students can go to mourn the loss of their friend.
Gleeson College will honour William with “a couple of memorial services” for staff and students who cannot attend the funeral, Mr Corbo added.
They will also have a “loud sock day” where students will attend with colourful socks on show, in a tribute to William.
The school has made “extra counselling personnel” available for those affected by his death.
“We’ll certainly need it,” Mr Corbo said.
Ms Banns has launched a GoFundMe to raise funds for William’s family, who are struggling to cope with their loss.
She explained that Ms Lynch, a freelance photographer and wedding celebrant, has taken time off work to process her grief.
“No parent should ever have to endure the loss of a child,” Ms Banns wrote on the fundraiser.
“The grief alone is terrible but the added stress of financial strain just adds to the pain.”