PHOENIX — A Valley school unveiled a tribute garden Wednesday, in memory of a young student who died last year.
Elliott Erazo, 11, died on January 11, 2020. He was in the special education program at Palm Lane Elementary. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the tribute was pushed back a year.
"For me it was very overwhelming," said Elliott's mother, Yazmin Erazo. "I even told my husband, 'you know, Elliott couldn't talk he was only 11. But for some reason people always connected with hm."
Erazo told ABC15 Elliott died due to complications from a seizure and had a severe form of Epilepsy, a rare condition called Dravet Syndrome.
"He was nonverbal, but his life had a lot to say," Erazo said.
The garden is full of plants and, yes, straws.
"Straws were his pride and joy," said Palm Lane Elementary School Principal Scott Nigh. "He could spot a straw a mile away in the thick of a forest. He could see a straw."
Nigh said it's important to pay tribute to the students who have attended the school.
"It's important for us to always remember that when students leave us, whether they go to middle school, high school, they graduate, or if unfortunately, we have a situation like this that their memory and everything is still here with us," said Nigh.
ABC15 asked Erazo what she hopes people take away from the tribute to her son.
"No matter how small you're feeling at that moment, you really do have a big impact on people," she said. "Just your significance in life, that's what I want Elliott to be remembered by."