Unthinkable tragedy as 'perfectly fit and healthy' teen dies in his sleep

The 14-year-old from Adelaide was 'happy and laughing' before going to sleep on the day he died. He never woke up.

William Pfeiffer was just like any other Aussie teenager.

The 14-year-old South Australian boy was "a really colourful, happy kid" with "the brightest smile" and a "heart of gold". He was loved by his parents, five siblings, his Year 8 peers, and virtually all that knew him.

Known for his fondness of wearing bright, "funky" socks, the teenager spent his final hours alive laughing and hanging out with his grandparents at their Adelaide home. That day, he went to sleep as he would've any other, only, William never woke up.

William Pfeiffer, 14, is pictured.
William Pfeiffer, 14, died suddenly and expectedly in his sleep. Source: Supplied.

Boy's sudden death remains unexplained

As far as his family know, there were no indications William may have had any kind of medical condition and nothing sparked any concern among those who knew him before his tragic death last week.

A "sensitive", caring young man with a bright future, his sudden death has left his family struggling to come to terms with such a cruel and unexplained loss. "As far as we know, he was a perfectly fit and healthy 14-year-old, (there) was nothing wrong with him," the young boy's close family friend Nicole Baans told Yahoo News Australia.

"He was sleeping over at his grandparents' house, he had been laughing and playing games with his family before bed. He went to bed and then in the morning, he just didn't wake up."

Parents wait for autopsy results

Ms Baans said William's parents — mum Karen and stepdad Mike — hope an autopsy will provide clarity over what happened to their otherwise healthy boy.

"He is having an autopsy done, he's at the coroner now — we hope that in the next few days, maybe there might be some answers. But at this stage, there's just nothing, we don't know."

The family, inconsolable and "struggling" immensely, have now been left to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives as they search for answers.

"Karen herself, she is a photographer and works for Heartfelt [a volunteer organisation of professional photographers dedicated to gifting memories to families who have experienced stillbirth or who have kids with life-threatening illness]," Ms Baans said.

William is pictured.
William will be remembered for caring nature, kind attitude and his love of colourful socks. Source: Supplied.

"She's such a giving person for other families in their time of need. So it's just so sad that she now has to feel this pain herself.

"William was just a really colourful, happy kid with the brightest smile. He was so kind and caring and just would do anything for anyone. .. he was just a bit of a clown, like, he made us all laugh. He was also a bit clumsy. We used to always joke about how he was the clumsy one."

To pay tribute to William's life, his school at Golden Grove will be holding a memorial for the late teen, where all students are invited to attend wearing bright socks.

A fundraising campaign to support the family as they come to terms with the loss can be found here.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.