Alyssa Mathas, 19, dies after battling health issues for most of her life

2013-01-28T00:00:00Z Alyssa Mathas, 19, dies after battling health issues for most of her lifeBy Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

HOBART | Alyssa Mathas battled health issues most of her life but was always concerned about others not herself, her aunt said.

Mathas, 19, died Wednesday after battling cystic fibrosis and, most recently, complications from pneumonia, her aunt, Sherry Mathas Gillespie, said.

"I know she was an angel here on Earth and I just wasn't ready for her to go. She was such an inspiration," Gillespie said.

Funeral services for Mathas will be at 11 a.m. today through Burns Funeral Home, 701 E. 7th St. with the Rev. John Star officiating.

Mathas was first diagnosed with cystic fibrosis as a baby, Gillespie said.

Gillespie, along with friends and family members, hosted a fundraiser for Mathas in May 2010.

The following September, Mathas, then 16, successfullly underwent a lung transplant, Gillespie said.

"It was the miracle story of the year. She had a wonderful couple of years," Gillespie said.

During those two years, Mathas became a normal teenager attending proms, going to concerts and even receiving her diploma from Hobart High School in 2012.

"She got to do a lot of things. She wanted to be normal," Gillespie said.

Mathas even had aspirations to go to Ivy Tech college and become a chef, Gillespie said.

"Then this past September she ended up with pneumonia and the flu," Gillespie said.

Mathas came home from the hospital in St. Louis, but remained on oxygen and had to return to the hospital a second time, right before Christmas.

Her health worsened last Monday.

"She was too weak and too sick to do any more surgery. Her body pretty much shut down," Gillespie said.

She said she received a text from Alyssa's father, Donald Mathas, that dashed any hopes her niece would hang on.

"Our beautiful angel will be getting her wings soon," was the message Gillespie said she received.

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