WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. - Norwin High School students are mourning the sudden death of 17-year-old classmate who died over the weekend from an unnamed illness.
Michael Sweeney, who left school sick on Friday, initially showed signs of meningitis, officials said, but the disease was ruled out after an autopsy was performed Monday morning.
Dr. Cyril Wecht performed the autopsy and said Sweeney had an existing medical condition his family was unaware of that will likely be determined as the exact cause of death.
According to the school’s website, officials received information that Sweeney’s death was not related to a communicable disease or meningitis.
Counselors and psychologists were on hand Monday at the high school.
“I think it’s very sad to pass on like that at a young age,” Ralph Bray said. “It’s very sad and I feel bad for the family.”
School officials said Sweeney’s parents requested the memory of their son be honored by performing random acts of kindness.
“Consider visiting the elderly, donating to a worthy cause, or helping a fellow student. The performance of a random act of kindness is a representative of the personal character and life lead by this student,” the letter posted to the school’s website said. “On behalf of the entire Norwin High School Family, we extend our sincere condolences to the student's family on this sad occasion.”