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Fundraising Effort Established For Family Of FHS Student Who Died In Gym Class

Tracey Warren published this photo of her son Dyllan on her Facebook fundraising page.


A Facebook fundraising page has been established by the mother of the Franklin High School student who died during gym class May 8.

Tracey Warren, a Westchester, NY resident, created the page on May 9.

“My son was an active, loving child and was taken from us tragically on May 8, 2018,” she wrote on the fundraising page. “In lieu of flowers, I am asking for your kind assistance in covering the mounting cost of his funeral service and memorial activities. Any help, however small, would be greatly appreciated in celebrating the life of my amazing child. Thank you in advance.”

Her son, Dylan Burrell, a 14-year-old freshman, collapsed during gym class shortly after 9 a.m. on May 8. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.

As of nearly midnight on May 9, the fundraising page raised $10,491 from 285 donors. The page’s goal is $15,000.

Warren has received hundreds of condolence messages both on the fundraising page and on her personal Facebook page. She responded to them en masse at about 11:30 p.m. May 9:

“I pray that no mother ever have to go through this,” she wrote. “I did not even get to say goodbye. I just saw him cold with no heartbeat. I prayed and call out to him, but he was long gone.”

“Thank you all for your well wishes and donations,” Warren wrote. “I cannot answer everyone, but know I feel your love. Many blessings.”

In a public letter posted to the Franklin High School web site, FHS principal Frank Chmiel wrote that “discussions are occurring regarding ways to thoughtfully honor our student’s memory. We are talking as a learning community, considering what professionals would recommend as fitting to memorialize our Warrior while lifting the spirits of all without causing more sadness.”

“Our process also involves including the wishes of student’s family, wonderful people who are going through one of the most heartrending times imaginable,” he wrote.

“Words cannot adequately describe the deep sadness that we feel because of the loss of one of our young Warriors,” Chmiel wrote. “Nothing truly prepares any of us as parents, educators, and students to deal with such an unexpected tragedy. Our excellent students and devoted faculty and staff came together and will remain together, as we have been, as we mourn the loss of one of our family members.”

Grief counselors will be made available for students, faculty and staff “in the upcoming days,” he wrote.

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