Students Mourn Loss of Soon-to-Be Graduate

HAZLE TOWNSHIP — Seniors and faculty at Hazleton Area High School are mourning the sudden loss of a student who was set to graduate in just a few days.

Maintenance crews at Hazleton Area High School are getting campus ready for graduation. More than 700 seniors will accept their diplomas on Wednesday, but one chair will be empty, the chair for 18-year-old senior Kelly Flores.

“She would tell everybody how excited, how excited she was to graduate and go on with her life and start something,” said Kelly’s best friend Maria Montes.

Maria Montes was Kelly’s best friend. She said Kelly suddenly became sick last Tuesday and ended up in the intensive care unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital near Allentown.

After five days in a coma, Kelly died Sunday. Her friends have taken it hard.

“I mean anybody who even knows her story just got shocked because she’s so young. She had so much going for her,” said friend Jennifer Melendez.

The school’s principal said Kelly won an award at school for her artwork last week. She was in the honor society and had plans to go to Penn State in the fall.

“She was so inspirational with all her drawings and creativity. She was such an artist,” said friend Rornardo Flores.

Now Kelly’s friends and Hazleton Area High School are fundraising for the Flores family. Friends said Kelly’s parents can’t afford to give Kelly a funeral, and they say they’d like to give Kelly a proper goodbye.

“Her parents were, is what motivated her to keep going,” said Montes.

“This little girl should be walking up on our stage on Wednesday. I should be handing her a diploma. So now we have to pay as big an honor as we possibly can to her. She deserves that,” said principal Rocco Petrone.

Graduation for Hazleton Area High School will take place Wednesday night at six. Something special is planned to honor Kelly Flores at graduation. If you’d like to donate or help her friends, you can contact Hazleton Area High School.

15 comments

  • HAHS 2014

    Im a classmate of Kelly’s. Kelly had epilepsy and had a seizure on monday. She hit her head and it sent her into a coma. After two days she was pronounced brain dead. She died on Sunday. I understand peoples’ concern, but if you could be a little more respectful of the situation that would be appreciated. We are all very vulnerable about the situation. If it were anything serious it is the law to inform the public. Otherwise, the family has confidentiality rights. But please be a little considerate. Thanks.

    • Kellys Friend

      Kelly didn’t hit her head and get in a coma. She was sleeping on her belly, had a seizure, and stopped the oxygen flow to her brain.

  • ME

    My thoughts exactly, fratboy. A young person just doesn’t die. Either they don’t know or it is something they don’t want the public to know about, which isn’t fair to the public, if it’s something that can affect them.

  • Fratboy

    Thank you, Jocelyn. When I see a story about a youngster suddenly dying, with no reason associated, I immediately think of viral, bacterial infections, poisoning, etc. To run such an incomplete story sends up all kinds of red flags. Condolences to the family. Prayers for the child.

  • jocelyn

    Kelly suffered from epilepsy since she was 3. She had a seizure & went into coma. She was basically pronounced brain dead & was disconnected sunday June 8 2014.

    • ME

      Thanks for letting us know, Jocelyn. I didn’t realize epilepsy could kill you just like that. This is a sad story. Condolences to all.

  • madeline9909

    I have 6 kids, my oldest walked the stage 2yrs ago and my 2nd oldest will walk it this year, I cannot imagine loosing a child.My heart and prayers go out to her family and friends , and no matter what happened , it happened and its the parents right to keep quiet about their daughter being sick.

  • MamaBear

    How does a perfectly healthy 18yr old suddenly become so sick she dies in a few short days??

    • JEAN

      MY 16 YR OLD NEPHEW SUDDENLY GOT SICK BACK IN MARCH AND TODAY HE IS STILL IN A HOSPITAL IN PITTSBURGH (THIS IS THE 4TH HE’S BEEN IN). HE WAS IN A MEDICALLY INDUCED COMA FOR ABOUT 7 WEEKS AND IS STILL ON A VENTILATOR AND ECMO MACHINE. ALL THIS STARTED WITH A SORE THROAT ON A FRIDAY AND ENDED HIM IN THE HOSPITAL 2 DAYS LATER. 4 HOSPITALS AND LOTS OF DRS AND THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT CAUSED THIS. THERE’S ALSO A 17 YR OLD BOY AND A 15 YR OLD BOY WITH SIMILAR ISSUES IN THE AREA.

  • haleigh

    Anybody can get sick. It is up to the family to be as candid as they want about what happened. They don’t owe us an explanation.

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