LEWISVILLE — Lydia Kizziar loved her group of friends, summer camp in Arkansas, and seventh grade at Founders Classical Academy in Lewisville.
On Saturday, her young life was cut short — dead from the flu at age 13. She's the second Denton County resident and the 21st North Texan to perish in the flu outbreak.
"You want to keep your kids extra close and extra healthy when you hear something like this," said Caroline Elliott, whose son went to school with Lydia. He and many others described her as sweet and kind.
"She befriended him," Elliott said. "She was nice to him in the lunchroom."
There’s no word on how long Lydia had been fighting the flu, but by last weekend she was at Children's Medical Center in Plano, where she died on Saturday.
Last year, Lydia got the flu despite getting a flu shot.
"Based on Lydia's experience with the flu shot last year, we decided not to get her one this year," said her father, Max Kizziar. "I am not giving a blanket endorsement either for or against flu shots and do not view this as a one-size-fits-all decision."
He said Lydia was in good health when she contracted the flu last week and did not have any underlying health issues.
The community is now rallying around the Kizziar family with a fund-raising website. Her parents recently lost their jobs, and friends are now trying to collect money for the teen's funeral.
"I've been saying my prayers for them, and anyone else who’s been going though this," Elliott said.
Grief counselors were on hand for students and staffers Monday at Founders Classical Academy.
A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at Freedom Life Church, 2435 East Hebron Parkway, in Carrollton.