In the wake of devastating floods in Eastern Kentucky last week, where almost 40 people lost their lives and dozens of homes were swept away, a high school athlete inexplicably became ill and died while helping rescue efforts.
Aaron “Mick” Crawford, 18, died in Appalachian flash floods last month. Mick Crawford aided relief efforts to clean up debris and mud, according to his family’s statements to the media. Afterward, Crawford tired and complained that his arms felt sluggish.
His mom, Ronda Crawford, told Kentucky.com earlier this week that he had been ill for about three days before he slipped into cardiac arrest. Mick was taken to Albert B. Chandler Hospital in Lexington, where he spent four days on a ventilator until dying on August 5.
“We have no idea why this happened, and we have no explanation,” Crawford added. She called her son the “kindest, loveliest kid.” She remarked, “I know everyone thinks their kid is the best, but he was. Even before the rain ceased, he sought to help people.”
Mick’s service arose from his trust in Jesus Christ. According to his mom, he would ask if people knew about Jesus and would pray for them. She shared that if Mick had one final wish, it would be for all people to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Perry County Pastor and Sheriff Joe Engle mirrored Crawford’s comments, calling the teen’s death a heartbreaking loss. “He was just a joy to be around,” Engle told CBS News.
While heavy rains engulfed several counties in the region, forcing citizens to seek higher ground until rescue crews could come. Engle’s last contact with Mick was the adolescent asking the sheriff where he might help victims.
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The sheriff explained, “He messaged me as soon as we realized we had a huge crisis going on here.” “I’m not sure it had even quit raining yet by the time he sent me a message on Facebook.”
“Wanting to know where to go. Wanting to know where to help,” Mick’s message reportedly said. Engle said Mick’s life was about helping others.
Engle: “That’s how he lived, and when he died, he made others’ lives better.” Engle remarked, “I’ll miss him.“
In addition to his academic achievements, Mick had also excelled in high school sports, leading the football and wrestling teams as captain. “He was just the type of kid, you know, he never came to practice in a bad mood,” Knott County Central athletic director Justin Amburgey told WYMT. “He was always very positive.”
Knott County Central wrestling coach Jonathan Aldana said, “He always did everything right.” Aldana stated, “When I learned about Mick, my heart sunk because you want him in your neighborhood.“
Governor Andy Beshear dubbed Mick a “heroic” student on Twitter. “Britainy and I are praying for the family of Aaron Crawford, a heroic high school student in Knott County who was bravely helping in the recovery efforts following the flooding,” Beshear said. “This is another tragic loss for Eastern Kentucky.” Beshear added, “Let us mourn together and honor Aaron’s compassion and love.”
Britainy and I are praying for the family of Aaron Crawford, a heroic high school student in Knott County who was bravely helping in the recovery efforts following the flooding.— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) August 8, 2022
Beshear’s flood relief fund will pay for Crawford’s funeral. Mick Crawford had five brothers and two sisters. On Thursday, funeral services were performed for Mick.
On Thursday, state officials reported that 39 people had lost their lives as a result of the disaster.