OAK LAWN, Ill. — The Oak Lawn High School community is in mourning after a student died from a coronavirus-related illness.
On Tuesday, visitation was held for Andy Washack, an 18-year-old senior whose life was cut short. His principal, Jeana Lietz, remembered the teenager, who first got sick with COVID-19 in November, during a phone interview with WGN Tuesday.
“Andy was just an absolute amazing kid,” Lietz said. “He was sweet and kind and caring and wasn’t super outgoing, but everybody who met him never forgot him.”
Once in the hospital, he never left.
“He was on a lung machine, a ventilator on and off since early November,” Lietz said. “So it’s been a long battle for the family, that’s for sure.”
Washack’s brother, Marty, is also a student at Oak Lawn.
“The two of them were just yin and yang,” Lietz said. “Marty is a football player and Andy is on the fishing team. Andy just loved fishing…Everyone is extremely sad to lose such an amazing kid.”
Word came last week that the 18-year-old took a turn for the worse, so staff at Oak Lawn began preparing his classmates.
For their part, friends and the greater OLHS community have joined together to help the family’s with all the medical bills following his four-month hospital stay.
For all the doubters who still question the danger of COVID, Principal Lietz said at 18, Washack was a healthy young man.
“That’s definitely one of the most frustrating things when you hear people who are either the anti-maskers or don’t think this is real,” Lietz said.
Anyone interested in donating to a GoFundMe in Andy’s honor may click here.