Alyssa Mathas might not have lived a long life, but her faith and strength inspired everyone who knew her, said her mother, Debbie Mathas.
She battled cystic fibrosis her entire life, but never gave up hope.
“Alyssa was outgoing, funny, silly and spontaneous. She had a huge heart,” her mother said.
Alyssa Mathas, 19, of Hobart, died Jan. 23. She was a member of Hobart High School Class of 2012, and was enrolled in culinary school through Ivy Tech.
She was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was only a month old, but never had a bad attitude and never felt sorry for herself.
“She never wanted people to think she was sick,” her mother said. “She knew the cards she was dealt weren’t fair, but she took it in stride and lived every day like it was her last.”
She treated people with love and kindness and was concerned about how her illness impacted those around her.
“She put us first. She was quite amazing,” Debbie Mathas said.
Two-and-a-half years ago, her health was failing and she was placed in hospice. But she traveled to St. Louis for a double lung transplant.
“A miracle happened,” her mother said. “With all our prayers and faith, she was almost back to normal three weeks later. Those next two years were a gift.”
The story of how Mathas faced her disease inspired friends, acquaintances and strangers, her mother said. She said the letters, messages and texts she has gotten since her daughter passed away have been remarkable.
“Her story, strength and courage inspired people,” she said. “She was a gift from God, and I am so appreciative that I got to be her mother. Her legacy will live forever.”