PROVO, Utah – A community is mourning the loss of a Timpview High School football player who died from complications related to the flu and a staph infection.
Parker Allred died last week. Doctors said the combination of the flu and a staph infection is rare
The Utah Health Department reports six deaths related to pneumonia and influenza so far this flu season.
Nationwide, the CDC reports 45 child deaths related to the flu for the 2012-2013 season. Experts say it is near average.
Members of the Timpview football team were joined by classmates at the school commons this weekend, where they held a vigil and placed blue ribbons all over the campus for the sophomore athlete. More than 100 students attended the vigil.
On Monday, students wore their Sunday best and blue to honor Parker, who was called their “blue-eyed boy” by his family.
Posters are up in the halls of the school and a trophy case displays Parker’s football jersey and helmet.
“I think it’s important the students feel like they’re doing something. The young men in their suits that was an agreed thing the students did out of respect for Parker and they want to show his family members that they loved and respected him,” said Dr. Greg Hudnall, Provo District spokesperson.
Teachers and staff attended a mandatory meeting on Monday morning to learn about effective methods of helping students struggling with the loss of a classmate.
“What we do know is people grieve differently. There are those who will openly cry and share their struggles and there are those who will hold it in. We want to make sure we are there for everybody,” Hudnall said.
There were also extra grief counselors on campus to help.