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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