INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mother of a Bishop Chatard High School teacher who died while chaperoning a school spring break trip to Europe is leaning on her faith and family to cope with his loss.
The school said Tuesday evening that theater teacher Kyle Guyton died in Krakow, Poland.
Guyton was eating when he had an asthma attack and began to choke, the school said on Facebook. He aspirated into his lungs and medics were unable to resuscitate him.
“Kyle, a 2011 alumnus of Bishop Chatard, joined our teaching staff this year and in the short time he was with us, his impact has been significant,” the school wrote. “We are saddened by this sudden and terrible loss.”
Guyton’s sudden death has left his family in shock.
“He touched so many people,” said his mother, Kathy O’Neal.
Counting your blessings can be tough, especially when the one you cherish the most is gone. “I hurt so bad,” O’Neal said Wednesday as she started to cry. “But he’s with the one that created him and (God) let me have him for a while and thank God for that.”
“To imagine not being able to see him again or hear his voice or his crazy text messages, it’s something that you just don’t want to even think about,” said Michael Greene, Guyton’s godbrother.
Days earlier, Greene said he had just been enjoying a lunch with Guyton. ”I was so grateful to God that we were able to spend that time and we just talked and laughed,” he said. “I just wish now I could have went back and took a lot more photos with him.”
O’Neal said she had been texting her son well wishes while he was on his trip. “[I] told him I loved him and I said, ‘I know God loves your more.’ So later on he responded, ‘Thank you and I know that’,” she said.
O’Neal said the principal at Bishop Chatard High School called her to say her son had died. O’Neal said her son’s asthma issues weren’t that bad, however, certain foods could aggravate it and lead to an attack. “For me, I feel I wasn’t there to help him and that hurts really bad,” she said.
Rather than dwell on his death, his family is trying to think of the good memories they shared. They spoke highly of Guyton’s passion for theater. They said he first worked with a production company at 14 years old and continued his passion in high school at BCHS, where he graduated in 2011. He attended Indiana State University before returning to his high school to teach.
“What he was able to do with theater and design and creativity, a lot of older people just hadn’t reached that yet,” she said.
O’Neal says those talents were his gifts from God. Most recently he organized a first-of-its-kind Easter service at BCHS.
His loss is undoubtedly difficult on O’Neal, but she says fact that she had a son is a miracle in itself.
“I was told I couldn’t have children [and I] wasn’t concerned about having children. [I] didn’t know I was actually carrying a baby until he was almost born,” she said. “So that’s my gift from God, a special gift from God.”
Funeral arrangements have not been announced. The school chapel will be open Wednesday and Thursday morning from 8 a.m. to noon for anyone wanting to remember Guyton in prayer. Counselors will also be available.
Some of Guyton’s former theater classmates from high school have stepped up to help his family. They are collecting donations to cover the funeral costs. Any additional money will be used to renovate his classroom to help honor his memory. To make a donation, click here!
Some who knew him expressed condolences on Twitter.