PARAMUS, NJ--A Paramus High School junior who asked to visit the nurse Thursday afternoon during social studies class collapsed in his teacher’s arms and later died at an area hospital, the superintendent said Friday.
The flag at the main entrance of the high school is at half mast. “Our hearts and condolences go out to the family,” said Superintendent of Schools Joseph Lupo who became choked up during a press conference to discuss the teen’s death. “I can’t imagine the pain of losing a
Eric Micheo, 18, who seemed well and was participating in a discussion on political cartoons, approached his teacher at about 1:30 p.m. asking for a pass to visit the school nurse, Lupo said.
As the teacher wrote the pass, Micheo collapsed in his arms, Lupo related. The teacher held the boy upright and spoke to him while the nurse was called. The nurse then started and alternated CPR with another faculty member, he said.
The nurse also used a defibrillator to try to revive Micheo to no avail. Paramedics then transported him to Hackensack University Medical Center. Lupo said the school district received a call between 2:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. that Micheo had died.
While the nurse performed CPR, the teacher removed the 15 students from the class, Lupo said.
An autopsy by the Bergen County Medical Examiner’s Office will be conducted to determine Micheo’s cause of death, Police Captain Kenneth R. Ehrenberg said. The results could be available in two to three days.
Micheo, who enrolled in the school on Sept. 23, 2010, was described as quiet, respectful and helpful. As an animal lover, he was president of PAWS, an animal rights student club that raises money for shelters. He was also a member of the wrestling team in the heavyweight category last year.
Micheo’s Facebook page notes that he was originally from Brooklyn and worked as a game associate at GameStop in Paramus.
His favorite quote was listed as “To the world you may be just one person but to one person you could be the world.”
School counselors along with members of the Bergen County Emergency Response Flight Team, which includes counselors, psychologists and social workers trained in bereavement, were on hand Friday for students and teachers.
“We also have counselors who are sweeping the hallways, hanging out in the commons and also in some of the classes this child was in so that there is a constant array of buffers and support for our students,” said Christopher Nutland, a district guidance counselor. “The students have really taken this to heart.”
Counselors planned to reach out over the weekend to a group of students who were close to Micheo, Lupo said.
High School Principal Kurt Karcich said he was proud of how the students have been handling Micheo’s death. About 95 percent of the student body wore black at school Friday to mourn and show respect for Micheo, Lupo said. The campaign to dress in black was communicated through Facebook and Twitter.
SOURCE: Karen Sudol, NorthJersey.com