(siren fades out)
A parents worst fear is getting a call in the middle of the night saying your child was in a car accident and was rushed to the emergency room. That call was sent out to my friend’s parents one night. His sister had been in a car accident and was in intensive care. One of the passengers has been killed on impact, while the driver and Kelly had been rushed to the emergency room. I knew Kelly Phillips, my friend’s sister, through hockey. We had played together. She was never the best player on the team nor the star, she was actually just a swing line player for the high school team. Regardless she always had others best interest at heart and looked to help anyone in need. The next 48 hours were hell for the Phillips family. They waited for the doctor to come out with the ok but it never came. Eventually Kelly went brain dead and they had to take her of life support. Our entire community went through extreme grief. For me, I didn’t know how to help my friend deal with his sister’s death, and the hockey team was also trying to recover from her loss. Not because of her hockey skills, but because of the energy and light Kelly brought to the team. No one knew how to handle the death of someone too young.
I saw some truly wonderful things come out of Kelly’s death though. I program was created by her father after her accident to raise money for underprivileged kids, so they can have a chance to play hockey. This program also asks for volunteers to help teach the kids how to play hockey. I have volunteered at the camps, and the change and happiness you see in the kids is unbelievable. Also, an award was created in her name that a player on the high school team who embodied her personality and love for the game receives at the end of the year. I was lucky enough to receive this award my senior year. I feel as though receiving this award has made me think of my actions more and try to reach the expectations of the amazing person Kelly Phillips was.
I believe in the power of death. Although Kelly’s death was a tragedy, the outcomes from her death have touched so many lives. Although she wasn’t the best player on the team, her jersey number was retired in respect for her and every player since has strived to be awarded the Kelly Phillips award because of the honor it brings to that player as a person.