by Melissa Brunner
I did not know Amy Schutter, but that doesn't make her death any less tragic to me. The wife and mother of four young children, by all accounts a much-loved volleyball coach at Wabaunsee High School, passed away Wednesday evening. Her loved ones report she had suffered a stroke, brought on by an influenza infection that put her in the hospital earlier this month.
I happened to speak to the school principal earlier in the day Wednesday. I was asking about a fundraising event the school planned to hold today to help the family. He commented how it's just so incredible to comprehend how someone could be so healthy one day, and so sick the next. Such is the mystery of influenza. For most of us, those dozens of strains of the virus that float around each season might cause a few days of annoyance. For others, it will bring the full onslaught of symptoms and a week in bed. For still others, it will lead to hospitalization, complications, and, in the worst case, like Amy, death. We know certain groups are more at risk than others of falling into the latter category - those who are elderly or have certain medical condtions. We don't know who among us will be the rare cases like Amy - those you would never guess could be so devastated by the illness. All we can do is take every precaution to lessen our chances, like get our flu shot and wash our hands often.
The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that so far this flu season (Oct. 3, 2010 to Feb. 12, 2011), 7,332 people have been hospitalized with influenza and the country has had 108 influenza-associated deaths. Flu activity is reported as widespread in 37 states, including Kansas. We are just hitting the peak, though, so health officials say we can expect the numbers to go up.
My sympathies to Amy's family and friends. Following is a portion of their post on Amy's Caring Bridge page today, sharing news of her passing:
Amy's life and legacy lives on through all the people she has had relationships with, including those she taught, coached, helped, consoled and raised. Amy sets the bar pretty high for how to live our lives with God and with our community. Again this is evident with the amount of support everyone has given her and her family. The family would like to thank everyone that has helped support her and her family in their time of need. We all believe that God has a greater purpose for Amy, which is hard to imagine a greater purpose than raising four beautiful children while at the same time wearing as many hats, and touching as many lives as she has. Please take the time to examine your lives. Please look to see how God may be working on your life and in your heart through Amy's life, faith, and legacy.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 8 This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Amy Schutter Benefit Fund
First National Bank of Wamego
PO Box 7
Alma, KS 66401
PO Box 214
Fruita, CO 81521