A heartbreaking loss in Oswego County, as 12-year-old Joey Eisch passed away last Friday after being hit by a truck while he was riding his bike. Alex Valverde sat down with his parents to learn about their son, who they say was the life of the party.
Brian and Maria Eisch go through pictures of their son Joey, telling stories of his funny nature.
"He was a goofball and he just liked to make people laugh," said Brian.
They remember him as a strong boy with a lot of heart. However, another memory comes up -- the last day they were with him.
"He's down at the end of the driveway and I looked at him, and I'm like 'I love you, buddy. You stay off the beeping road' and he's like 'I know dad, I love you too' and he waved at me," said Brian.
Last Friday, Joey was hit by a truck while riding his bike, and passed away that same day. Now Brian and Maria must go through what no parent should ever have to do -- saying goobye to their child.
"You wake up in the morning and it's almost like a mini-panic attack, you can feel your heart racing, you can feel this panic and you feel this aching, at least I do, in my chest and my arms," said Maria. "All of a sudden it's just a reality. He's gone and he's not coming home."
Maria said, Joey one day wanted to join the Army, just like his dad. Brian was a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Afghanistan from Fort Drum in 2010.
A memorial fund has been set up by a friend to cover the costs of the memorial services here and in Wisconsin, where Joey will be buried.
"The funeral expenses alone are going to be $35,000 to $50,000, which I don't care. I'll sell my boat, I'll sell my truck, I don't care," said Brian. "I want Joey to have everything he deserves to be put to rest."
There's one thing that Brian wants to tell other parents.
"Hug your kids every chance you get," he said. "Tell them you love them because you never know when they're going to be gone."
The family says they've received growing support from the community and find comfort in their faith and fond memories of Joey.
There will be a chance for the community to come together and pay their respects. A memorial service will be held at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday at the Sandy Creek High School Gymnasium. Anyone is welcome to attend.
If you'd like to help with the Joey Eisch Memorial Fund, visit their GoFundMe page.