Fundraiser aids kin of Vinita girl af­ter death

Tulsa World - - Metro&region - By Sheila Stogs­dill World Cor­re­spon­dent

VINITA — Teddy bears and bal­loons adorned the fence line of Will Rogers Ele­men­tary School on Tues­day evening, hon­or­ing 9-year-old Mi­la­gros Vil­lal­pando.

The fourth-grade stu­dent, known as Milly, died Mon­day af­ter be­ing hos­pi­tal­ized when she lost con­scious­ness dur­ing a phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion class.

A fundraiser al­ready planned for Tues­day night, Bingo for Books for the Hall Halsell Ele­men­tary, set aside a por­tion of the funds raised for the Vil­lal­pando fam­ily.

The cause of Milly's death has not been de­ter­mined, pend­ing tox­i­col­ogy re­ports that can take up to sev­eral weeks, said Amy El­liott, a spokes­woman for the state Med­i­cal Ex­am­iner's Of­fice.

Vinita Pub­lic Schools Su­per­in­ten­dent Kelly Grim­mett said Milly had just fin­ished play­ing a fiveminute round of bas­ket­ball with a group of girls Mon­day and was in a cor­ner rest­ing when an­other girl from the group ap­proached the teacher to re­port some­thing was wrong with her team­mate.

Af­ter check­ing on Milly, the teacher called 911 and sought help from the school of­fice. The girl at that point was not talk­ing but had her eyes open and was breath­ing, Grim­mett said. By the time Prin­ci­pal Michael Wil­son ar­rived at the gym, she had lost con­scious­ness and was not breath­ing, so Wil­son per­formed CPR.

Grim­mett said emer­gency re­spon­ders worked on Milly in the gym but were un­able to sta­bi­lize her con­di­tion, so she was trans­ported to a lo­cal hospi­tal. Doc­tors tried to get her sta­ble enough to be flown to a Tulsa hospi­tal, but the girl re­port­edly never re­gained con­scious­ness.

“We have had a lot of peo­ple that are sup­port­ing the fam­ily,” said Hai­ley Bump, 16, one of three stu­dents greet­ing guests and sell­ing bingo tick­ets at the fundraiser.

Or­ga­niz­ers ex­pected 400 peo­ple at Bingo for Books, but the crowd quickly grew to over 600.

Vinita res­i­dents rally around their own, said Mary Smith, prin­ci­pal of Hall Halsell Ele­men­tary. Many of the teachers at Hall Halsell had Milly in class, she said.

“We just hugged our chil­dren tighter tonight,” said Stephanie Hoskin, a PTO par­ent and for­mer teacher. “We come to­gether to help a fam­ily in need.”

Coun­selors from the dis­trict and other groups in­clud­ing the Chero­kee Na­tion cri­sis team were at the school on Tues­day. Grim­mett said coun­selors have vol­un­teered to con­tinue of­fer­ing ser­vices as needed through­out this week.

Ok­la­homa State Bank 120 W. Cana­dian Ave. Vinita, OK 74301 Attn: Tell­ers

FBO Milly Vil­lal­pando

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