It was a send-off befitting a hero. At a children’s hospital in Chicago on Tuesday, 4-year-old William Lane, who goes by Liam, died.

Liam was escorted home to Elkhart, by more than 14 separate fire and police departments.

He was friends with the firefighters his  entire life as he struggled with medical problems and got to understand his local first responders really well.

Local fire departments set up the overpasses on Toll Road with flashing lights. Their way of celebrating his life.

Many of them saw him as a friend.

“Sunday, before he passed away, they came over and my house was full of firemen and police officers,” said his mother, Kaytee Lane. “They came over, they had a pizza party with him and brought him LEGOs. And they played with him.”

His preschool teachers were set up on the side of the road to support his family.

“His smile was infectious,” said his mother. “He was so loved by so many people.”

These bright colors celebrate Liam’s bright character.

The family also said they hoped individuals would donate LEGOS instead of flowers so children like Liam could play in the hospital with them.

You can bring them to the funeral home of Stemm Lawson Peterson— 531 Cobblestone Blvd., Elkhart— and they will ensure that they are donated to the hospital.

Categories: U.S.