Glen Rose is mourning the loss of one of its most beloved teachers.
Lisa Schmidt, 51, a Glen Rose High School Spanish teacher, died on Friday, July 24 after spending several days in a Fort Worth hospital.
“She was a tremendous teacher, friend and mentor in this community,” Glen Rose Independent School District superintendent Wayne Rotan said. “Her personality and laughter will be something we miss in the halls of the Glen Rose High School.”
According to a blog started by her family, Schmidt’s illness began on July 20 when she was placed on an intravenous IV because of dehydration. At some point during her monitoring, the nurses discovered she was unresponsive - she was not breathing and had no pulse. After attendants were able to resuscitate her, Schmidt was then transported to Harris Methodist Hospital, where she underwent therapeutic hypothermia. The hypothermia lowers the core body temperature to approximately 33 degrees centigrade, allowing the brain the time it needs to recover.
During the process, Schmidt began to suffer seizures, which her family was told by doctors was from brain injury, not necessarily brain damage. At that time, they were informed that if it was from brain injury it could be controlled.
“Her seizures ran continuously since her arrest and were not suppressed by the hypothermic protocol or anti-convulsants,” the blog stated.
The family decided to allow one more protocol in order to determine if any recovery could be made. While the seizures were stopped after rest, Schmidt was in an Alpha coma, which are often caused by long periods of anesthathia or seizures.
Hours later, the doctors shared devastating news with the family.
“All doctors involved feel that she is unable to survive without heroic artificial life support,” the blog stated. “Throughout their marriage, Lisa has made it perfectly clear to Paul (her husband) and her children that without her ability to operate basic motor skills and basic functions, such as walking and talking, she did not want to live.”
The blog also has a guestbook that friends can sign, offer their condolences to the family and share their memories of Schmidt.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about Lisa,” one person wrote. “There are few people as strong and caring as Lisa. She truly cared for all her students. She formed a bond with them and made an impression in their hearts that will stay with them all of their lives.”
The family plans on establishing a scholarship fund in Schmidt’s name for English as a Second Language (ESL) for students in the Glen Rose Independent School District. The family is asking that any and all donations be made to that cause. A link to the donation Web site can be found on the Glen Rose ISD home page, www.grisd.net.
“Lisa felt very strongly about helping students who were challenged or under a hardship by not having English as a second language. She constantly served students struggling in this capacity,” the blog stated.
The classroom was not the only place Schmidt felt called to serve. Although she is gone, her family has enabled her to continue to serve others through organ donations.
“We already have matching recipients for her corneas and kidneys in Fort Worth standing by for the chance to have new life from Lisa,” her husband Paul wrote on the blog.
To read the blog, visit www.caringbridge.org/visit/lisaschmidt.