Tonya Papanikolas ReportingA 13-year-old Davis County boy has died of a rare form of bacterial meningitis. The boy went to school at Fairfield Junior High, in Kaysville.
Tyler Hinojosa was an eighth grader. People who knew him said that he played sports and that he was very generous, that he looked out for people. But yesterday Tyler passed away at his home from a rare form of bacterial meningitis caused by a strep infection.
Brooke, Friend: “He was really happy all the time. And everybody he knew, everybody he touched them in a special way that nobody else could. And we’re really gonna miss him at school.
Friends and classmates of Tyler Hinojosa say it was an extremely sad day at school as they learned Tyler had died. Outside, student body officers posted a goodbye tribute on the school’s marquee. Counselors were brought in to talk to students and the school sent letters home with the kids so parents would be informed.
Chris Williams, Davis School District: “An eighth grader dying isn’t something we’re used to every day. It’s a rare situation and people are concerned.”
But the health department says parents shouldn’t be too concerned. The meningitis Tyler had was caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat. It’s very rarely life-threatening and not highly contagious. Tyler hadn’t even been at school since last Wednesday, so most students are not at risk. And it’s only close contact that even raises a concern.
Lewis Garrett, Davis County Health Dept.: “Close contacts would be kissing, sharing utensils, water bottles.”
While many wonder how this common bacteria could be so deadly, friends say they will remember the young man Tyler was.
Brooke: “He was just always trying to help people out, and a happy kid, and trying to make others feel good about themselves.”