Sevastopol Student Dies of Meningitis

The Sevastopol school community is mourning the loss of Matthew West, a 15-year-old who had just completed 8th grade at Sevastopol Middle School and was looking forward to entering high school in the fall. He died June 13 from Streptococcus pneumoniae, or meningitis caused by bacteria. “We have had people calling us and asking what they should do,” said Rhonda Kolberg, head of the Door County Public Health Department. “We are assuring people that they do not have to worry about getting it through contact with the person. Contacts are not at any risk with this type of bacterial meningitis.” Sevastopol Superintendent Linda Underwood said Matthew’s organs have been donated, which is an expression of his generous spirit. “Matt was such a generous, full of life, embrace every experience he could kind of kid,” Underwood said. In a note to the Sevastopol community, middle and high school principal Adam Baier wrote: “Matthew West was always full of life, had a big smile for everyone, and deeply cared for his family and friends. Please keep Matt’s family in our thoughts and prayers as they deal with this tragic loss. Please continue to remember Matthew for his positive energy and for the heroic actions that he and his family have now taken. Matthew’s organs were donated late last night and will go on to save four lives. Matt is my hero, and has taught us all so much about how to live life. Please help me keep all of these great memories alive.” Wrestling coach Leif Lautenbach also issued a statement: “As a coach, you could not ask for a better student and young man to work with. My experience over the past three years working with Matthew in the wrestling room has been inspiring, to say the least. Matthew was recognized by every single coach, volunteer, parent and his teammates as a leader, positive influence, hardworking, generous and kind person. He has been recognized in our wrestling program, by his peers and teammates as THE GUY IN THE ROOM WITH THE BIGGEST HEART.” Both statements say there will be a celebration of Matthew’s life in the near future.

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