Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

SamoHi 10th Grader Vanai Jelks dies in bed of Mysterious Causes 10/25

She seemed to have a cold or flu. Friends start a Go Fund Me page for burial expenses

Update: 10/29: The Los Angeles County Coroner's website lists the cause of Vanai Jelks death as "deferred." The Coroner's office is conducting an autopsy and will release results.

Her family members in Inglewood report that she threw up Friday Morning, 10/21. But she seemed well enough to go to school, says he step father. They assumed the 10th grader had a cold, but she did not seem terribly ill.

On Saturday, 10/22, she took part in a drama competition that lasted until 7 pm, says her step father.

On Monday, she threw up again, but seemed well enough to go to school, so her parents sent her there. On Tuesday, Vanai said she felt sick, so her mother kept her home. She bought her cough syrup, assuming she had a cold or flu. But the 15-year-old didn't take any.

Sometime between 2 pm and 5:30 pm on Tuesday 10/25, Vanai apparently died in bed. Her step father returned home after work that afternoon, to find her dead in bed, he says. They started CPR and called authorities at that time, who sent an ambulance.

She was a strong, athletic girl, says he family, with no known congenital disorders.

10/26: santa monica high school's new principal Anthony Shelton has announced the death of Vanai Jelks. She was a 10th grade student at SamoHi. The following was sent as an e mail and also as a robocall to parents:

Dear Samohi Family,

It is with a heavy heart that I share some sad news with you. Our family lost one of our very own. Vanai Jelks, a 10th grader in S House passed away last night. At this time, we do not have any details concerning her passing. Vanai's mother will share arrangements with us in the near future, but we ask that you respect their privacy for the time being.

Counseling support will be available to students in the library throughout the school day.

If you have any questions or your students needs further support, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Samohi family.

Please keep the family in your thoughts.

Antonio M. Shelton, Ed.D. Principal

Update 10/29: Vanai's family has started a go fund me page to raise burial expenses.

It says: "The Samohi family lost an exceptional student in the passing of Vanai Jelks on October 26, 2016. Vanai impacted the Samohi campus in numerous and profound ways; through basketball, music, theater and her infectious joy. She carried around a wondrous smile that uplifted the day of everyone who had the chance to see it. Her heartfelt concern for others knew no boundaries and her relentless drive to reach her goals inspired others to do their best everyday. The hallways will now be dimmer without her shining presence but the brightness of her will never fade. Although she will always be #1 in our hearts, to honor her in a unique way, we set the goal of $44,000 in memory of her jersey #44. Thank you, Vanai."


Reader Comments(1)

Vanai writes:

Please fix the spelling of her name; it's Vanai, not Venai :) thank you