PARAMUS, NJ (CBSNewYork) — Grief counselors were at Paramus High School Friday to help students cope with the death of a fellow classmate.

A flag flew at half staff in front of the school one day after 18-year-old junior Eric Micheo suddenly died. School Superintendent Joseph Luposaid Micheo told a teacher on Thursday that he wasn’t feeling well and asked to go to the nurse’s office.

As the teacher was writing him a pass, Micheo collapsed.

“The teacher held the student, spoke to him while they called the nurse,” Lupo told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano.

Lupo said the nurse was called and with the help of another teacher, who is also a part-time EMT, alternated CPR. The nurse also tried to use a defibrillator to revive the teen.

Micheo was then taken to Hackensack Hospital where he later died.

The school said they were not aware of any prior medical history and were still not sure what caused the tragedy.

“The teacher indicated that prior to coming to his desk the student was fine and was actively participating,” Lupo said. “This was very sudden.”

Leela Thampan of Paramus said her daughter came home distraught after witnessing part of the tragedy.

“He was a gentle guy, terrible loss,” Thampan said. “Life is so fleeting and you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

One Paramus High student wrote on a blog: “This gives everyone a lesson — don’t take life for granted.”

Kirk Karcich, principal of Paramus High School, said some students were so overcome with grief they had to be taken out of class Friday.

“Kids have a lot of questions, adults have a lot of questions, things we’re never going to have answers to,” Karcich said.

“I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child,” Lupo added.

Micheo, the school said, had a passion for protecting animals as president of a school animal protection group. Last year he wrestled on the school’s team.

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Comments (5)
  1. A Classmate says:

    Here, please attend. Eric was in one of my classes. Word cannot express what I am feeling.

  2. Gretchen Gomez-Santiago says:

    I knew Eric since he was a little boy… when he was in grade school he attended our afterschool program at CFL Sunset Park, Brooklyn… I always had a soft spot for him in my heart and even though I have not seen him in 6 years, my heart is heavy with sadness and I feel so terrible for his mother -Maria….he was indeed a good kid…my deepest condolonces to his mother…I cannot imagine her pain and grief…I need to know funeral arrangements…please post! thank you…

  3. Mrs. Barkovitz, English Department says:

    As a teacher in PHS who did not know Eric, I heard the most beautiful memories of him today as my 9th and 12th grade students tried to come to terms with his sudden death. One girl reported Eric gave up his seat on the late bus to a student who needed to get home. He then took the late, late bus, which left school 90 minutes later. He was a gentle, generous boy.

    My prayerful condolences to his family.

  4. steve says:

    why do bad things happen to good people.

  5. JMS says:

    my sincerest condolonces to Eric’sfamily. May he rest in peace and may his memory be a blessing.

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