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Friends, family mourn teenager
West student, 15, died after surgery
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Forsyth County News
How to help

To contribute to the Miller family fund, go online at Proceeds go to the family’s medical and funeral costs.
A fund has been established to help the family of a 15-year-old West Forsyth High School student who died last month.

Hailey Miller died Dec. 22 from what family members have said were complications from knee surgery. The operation was her third and proceeds from the fund will go toward medical and funeral costs.

Miller’s uncle, Scott Miller, said the family is relying on faith to get them through their loss.

“They go through periods of time where they’re able to go onto a normal life at one point and at other times they’re kind of crippled,” he said.

Hailey Miller was the daughter of Kevin and Cheri Miller, the second of their six children who range in age from 17 to 3.

Lauren McDonald, Forsyth County coroner, said an official cause of death has not been released.

In a eulogy Scott Miller wrote for his niece’s funeral, held Dec. 28, he recalled the West Forsyth sophomore’s physical strength and her “loving” nature.

“She could beat the boys in arm wrestling when she was a kid,” he wrote. “She beat her older cousin, Craig, when they were younger and even when they got older he was nervous when Hailey would challenge him to arm wrestle.”

He also recalled how she loved taking care of children and at age 6 carried her younger sister around on her hip.

He confirmed that his niece had undergone outpatient surgery Dec. 16 to treat her damaged ACL and was on her way home from the hospital when she fell ill.

She was taken by ambulance to Emory Johns Creek Hospital and then flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where she remained until she died.

Hailey Miller had played basketball for Vickery Middle School and was a member of West’s Students Against Destructive Decisions and Fellowship of Christian Athletes organizations.

Gary Sylvestri, who teaches career tech and leads the FCA at West, said she was “absolutely amazing.”

“She was one of the kids that just stuck out from day one,” he said.

Students were still mourning the loss when they returned to school Tuesday. Sylvestri said many wore yellow, Hailey Miller’s favorite color, in her honor.

He said her classmates are doing their best to handle the loss.

“Obviously, they’re still mourning and sad, but they’re trying to do the right thing by living on as she would want them to live on,” he said.

Sylvestri added that one student has begun selling yellow and light blue wristbands to help raise money for the Miller family.

In addition, he said students are signing a wall-length, ticker tape paper in memory of their former classmate, which will be displayed at the school and eventually given to the Miller family.

The FCA is also donating all proceeds from its coaches’ appreciation ceremony to the family.