Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Young man looses fight with rare lung disease

Express Staff Writer

Tyler Shelly

Hailey resident Tyler Shelly, 20, died Monday, Nov. 29, of primary pulmonary hypertension, which constricts arteries in the lungs, following an emergency lung transplant Oct. 1 in Salt Lake City. His family was with him at University of Utah Hospital.

Shelly, graduated from the Silver Creek Alternative School in 2002, earned a Sun Valley Center for the Arts Scholarship and Wood River Odd Fellows & Rebekahs Scholarship as well as a ticket to the Musician's Institute in California.

"This young man was on top of the world," musician and family friend Chad Stuart said earlier this fall. "The tragedy for Tyler was that it went so long untreated." Stewart and his singing partner Jeremy Clyde played a live concert at a benefit for Tyler in October.

The disease is often misdiagnosed and has often, as in Shelly's case, advanced to a late stage by the time it's accurately diagnosed.

He is survived by his mother Judy Shelly, a teacher at Bellevue Elementary, his father John Shelly, who works for the U.S. Forest Service in Fairfield, his sister Cassie Shelly and brother Owen Shelly.

"The staff at University Hospital was remarkable," family friend and fellow Bellevue teacher Gloria Wieand said. She had visited the family recently in Salt Lake at the hospital. "He had the best team in the world, working for him. Before the benefit I had no idea the caring and out pouring of love that this community has for one another."

A memorial service is being held Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Community Campus auditorium, in Hailey. The time was not yet set at press time but will be posted in the Mountain Express on Friday.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to, or to a National Donor list. Cards may be sent to 650 Kintail Drive, Hailey, ID 83333.

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