Tomorrow marks the official one year anniversary of the death of beloved Lake Highlands High School student Austin Silva, but the entire community held its collective breath for more than a week last summer while the teen fought for life in the ICU. The tennis team captain and Wildcat Wrangler preparing for his senior year had gone in for routine wisdom teeth extraction and died from complications.
Austin’s parents, David and Suzanne, and his siblings, Samantha and Charlie, have shared Austin’s story with many over the past year, and it’s clear he was no ordinary kid. Teachers, coaches and students alike have gushed praise and admiration.
“Not only was Austin a joy to be with, he was a light to everyone around him,” wrote classmate Gabriella Herrera, “never forgetting to show God’s love to everyone he came in contact with. Austin was able to teach me more than I could have asked for. The way he discipled others always put me in awe.”
The Silvas created the #LiveLikeAustin project, designed to encourage fellow students –and adults – to follow his example of faith, kindness and generosity. They created the Austin Silva Memorial Fund, which will distribute funds to Camp Barnabas and Mission of Hope Haiti, where Austin volunteered, and to LHHS scholarships. The Lake Highlands Soccer Association also created the Austin Silva Young Referee Award in honor of Austin’s work on the pitch, and the Wranglers’ first-ever Austin Silva Character Award was given in May. The tennis team created a Love 18 logo for uniforms and car stickers representing Austin’s graduation year. The team committed to praying on the 18th minute of the hour.