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Vernon family devastated by death of teenage daughter, 2 days after surgery

Lumby student died suddenly from surgery complications

Complications from a surgery have stolen the life of a teenager, leaving her family shattered.

Kaylee Kolenski was just 17 years old when she died suddenly Dec. 11, two days after a surgery.

The Charles Bloom student was looking forward to graduating, getting her driver’s licence and beginning her adult life.

“She will be very missed by many, in her 17 years she touched so many lives, this loss is beyond devastating,” parents Jenn and Matt Kolenski said.

The funny and quick-witted young woman was very close with her family, who enjoyed trips together to concerts, hockey games, football games or just going for a drive.

“She was always a bright and shining light in our family, a ray of sunshine since the very first day she was born,” her grandmother said. “She was our whole reason for being and we are devastated at her passing.”

Kaylee was also a giver, always doing “what she could to help people, and make people feel better,” according to grandma, adding that at just six and seven years old she was already a dedicated caregiver for her great grandpa who had moved in to their home to be cared for in his final years.

She had health issues from the time she was six weeks old, spending time in BC Children’s Hospital.

“She was resilient and kind in-spite of it all and even though her health issues were ongoing and threatened her goals, she pushed through inspite of them in order to complete her schooling in time and make sure she could graduate with her school friends,” grandma reminisced.

Kaylee was looking towards obtaining her Red Seal in trades college upon completion in either heavy equipment operations or welding.

“She wasn’t afraid of challenges.”

Friends at her school are devastated by the news but would like to plan something special for Kaylee at graduation.

“Kaylee was the kindest, most understanding, welcoming person I’ve ever met before,” her best friend said. “She was so amazing in every way possible and I miss her so much.”

A GoFundMe has been created for the family, already raising close to $10,000. To donate visit

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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