Church opens for grief counseling in wake of Lakota teen’s death

Family, friends, classmates and supporters came to the Center Pointe Christian Church Sunday for small-group grief counseling in the wake of Lakota West High School student Matt Stratman’s death Saturday. Strateman collapsed last month during a lacrosse game and never regained consciousness.
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Family, friends, classmates and supporters came to the Center Pointe Christian Church Sunday for small-group grief counseling in the wake of Lakota West High School student Matt Stratman’s death Saturday. Strateman collapsed last month during a lacrosse game and never regained consciousness.

More than a 100 family, friends and classmates of Matt Stratman came to a local church Sunday to grieve over the teen’s untimely death.

The two-hour event at the Center Pointe Christian Church in Liberty Twp. served more as a grief counseling session for a Lakota school community still trying to understand why the popular 15-year-old died.

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Students joined in small-circle discussions with grief counselors provided by Lakota and the church.

The Lakota West High School sophomore died Saturday morning after being diagnosed with AVM (arteriovenous malformation).

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He collapsed during a June 9 Lakota West alumni lacrosse game. He had been at Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center ever since.

Saturday evening saw more than a 100 supporters gather in the evening at Lakota West Stadium in West Chester twp. to show the boy’s family the wide and deep backing they have in the Butler County community.

Lakota West High School Principal Elgin Card released a statement Sunday saying “our thoughts and prayers are with the Stratman family during this heartbreaking time.”

“The Lakota West family, and the entire Lakota community, is grieving. The past three weeks have been a testament to Matt and the type of person he was. The community has come together to pray for Matt, to pray for the Stratman family and to support one another. We must hold on to that and keep it going for Matt,” said Card.

Lakota Schools Spokeswoman Betsy Fuller said “we continue to hold the Stratman family in our thoughts and prayers, along with everyone whose lives have been touched by Matt.”

“It has been heartwarming to see the Lakota community come together to support the Stratmans, and one another, during this heartbreaking time,” said Fuller.

Stratman was diagnosed with AVM after being hospitalized.

The disease involves bleeding in the brain, according to a GoFundMe page created to help the family defray medical costs. The online fundraiser has raised more than $31,800 from more than 400 people in the past 19 days.

Dates and times for memorial and funeral services have not yet been determined.