Balloons will be released Monday in memory of a 16-year-old teen who died on Tuesday from H1N1.
Myles Cronkhite, 16, promised close friend Michael Gorbous he would release 200 balloons with 1,000 signatures into the sky and he is going to fulfil that pledge Monday.
“Michael was very well-liked and outgoing and he cared for other people more than he cared for himself,” Cronkhite told Metro.
“I promised him I would send balloons to the sky and unfortunately now I have to follow through with the promise. I really miss him.”
Alberta Health Services said the death brings the provincial toll to 65 and reinforces the importance of getting immunized.
“It’s a sad situation and our condolences certainly go out to the family and friends of this individual,” deputy medical officer of health Judy MacDonald told reporters.
Gorbous didn’t have any underlying conditions, according to AHS.
And Cronkhite agreed people should get immunized.
“I am shocked, it’s really devastating. He was healthy and active, and if this can happen to him, it can happen to anyone. It’s really scary,” Cronkhite said.
While the Gorbous family declined to comment when contacted by Metro, friends and acquaintances shared memories and stories of their friend.
Jennifer Shibley said she remembered Michael as having a contagious smile, and found herself smiling because he made her feel special.
“He made me laugh a lot. He had a huge heart and cared about people easily and because of this, he attracted a lot of friends,” she said.
“I will miss him very much.”
The Gorbous family spoke out last month about the importance of getting the H1N1 vaccine when their son went into a medically induced coma at the end of October.