Morton Ranch HS nurse dies after virus battle, family friends say

KATY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Katy ISD school nurse, who, according to a GoFundMe set up for her, had been battling COVID-19 in an ICU, has died.

Morton Ranch High School on Friday gave word of Kelly Balser's passing. While school Principal Julie Hinson did not immediately disclose Balser's passing as virus-related, family friends said she tested positive with the coronavirus and then was admitted into Memorial Hermann Katy hospital on Aug. 8.

In her letter to staff and students, Hinson called for care for each other as a way to remember her.

"Kelly took care of all of us, and the best way to honor her legacy is to continue to take care of each other as a Maverick family," Hinson wrote. "We need to love on each other as much as she loved all of us."

Balser's crowdfund, which stated that it was set up on behalf of her husband, who is also employed at Morton Ranch High School as a teacher and wrestling coach, Mark, described her ordeal in detail. She was admitted into the hospital with bilateral pneumonia, before she was intubated and moved to the ICU a week later.



Balser was connected to a ventilator up until her death early Friday morning, according to the fund's organizer.

The GoFundMe page, which had raised nearly $17,000 of a $50,000 goal since Aug. 22, stated Mark, their daughter Halee - who also teaches at Morton Ranch, and their son Lance, who attends University of Texas-San Antonio, have all been unable to see their loved one since she was admitted.

The proceeds from the account go to medical expenses incurred by the Balser family.

Morton Ranch's first day of school was on Aug. 19 when all students started online learning. In-person instruction is due to start the day after Labor Day next week.

While the school's principal did not confirm the circumstances of Balser's death in her letter, a Katy ISD COVID-19 Case Dashboard last updated on Sept. 3, showed the high school had one active staff case and none among students. District-wide, Katy ISD reported 19 staff cases overall and a combined 10 among students.

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