Not everyone gets this amazing privilege to live a full and meaningful life here on planet earth. Some of us are lucky enough and should always remember every day is a blessing just to be alive. That brings us to today’s tragic and heartbreaking story.
It began as just a regular old Tuesday in Pearland Texas, slightly cloudy with a small breeze, and fresh air was filling 17-year-old Joshua’s Grays lungs that morning. Josh was a kid everybody at school just gravitated to. On top of being athletic, his grades were top notch and he was in many advanced placement classes.
His mom said Josh was known for his hipster style and swagger and was quite the fashionista that others looked to for fashion advice. Like many other kids his age, he was preparing to go to college in a year and he had quite the bright future and unlimited potential ahead of him.
But this one strange Tuesday would change everything forever. Josh’s mom made him breakfast and gave him the same bagged lunch with the same sides and sandwich he always brought to school since he was just a young lad in kindergarten. Josh always made sure the bread crusts were cut off because he couldn’t stand to look or tasty the ‘gross bread crust’.
He walked out the front door and his friends picked him up to head off to another day at Glenda Dawson High School. He got to school picked up his stuff from his locker and then went to his first class.
However, by 11 am Josh’s stomach started to feel a bit uneasy. This uneasiness quickly became the worst stomach ache he had experienced in his entire life! He knew this was no ordinary stomach ache as the pain soon became excruciating and unbearable!
So, Josh did the responsible thing and headed straight for the school nurse.
Tragically, just two hours later he was dead. Doctors say the artery running to Josh’s pancreas ruptured, with his pancreas following suit shortly after. The bleeding couldn’t be stemmed or stopped in the aftermath, and the teen died.
“He went from going to school yesterday morning — normal day, happy — to having a stomach ache, to within two hours not being with us anymore,” Laurie Gray, Josh’s mother, told KHOU.
Josh’s loved ones, meanwhile, have set up a GoFundMe Page to help cover the expenses of his sudden death. Part of their fundraising will go towards finding and curing rare underlying diseases. The page in question has already managed to raise in excess of $35,000.
“Josh loved everyone for who they were,” Josh’s friend, Austin Hurst, said. “I’m loud and obnoxious; he loved that about me. I mean, he loved all of us for exactly who we were. And that was the best part about being with Josh; you could be you.”
Josh’s friends plan to go on the mission trip he was going to take in the summer.
“We love Josh,” his friend, Seth Blunt, said. “We all love Josh. He’s connected to us.”
The sudden loss of Josh has no doubt greatly affected his family and friends, and it’s all we can do to pray for them at this most difficult of times.
If nothing else, let his untimely passing be a reminder to all that life is short and cruelly unpredictable. Live each day as if it might be your last, and always remember to be the better you’d like to see in the world. You never know when you might not get another chance.
Sources: OpposingViews, KHOU, GoFundMe