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Soccer star's mother dies 3 days after championship

Hiroyo Klink was hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage during her son's final game for Kalani

By Michael Tsai

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:16 a.m. HST, Feb 13, 2013


In her last conscious act, Hiroyo Klink made sure that her son Leo would have the opportunity to cap his high school soccer career on the field celebrating a state championship with his Kalani High School teammates.

Klink, 52, died Tuesday, three days after collapsing in the stands during the second half of Kalani's stirring 3-2 state championship victory over Punahou. As she was being placed in an ambulance with what was later diagnosed as a brain hemorrhage, Klink insisted that no one tell Leo until after the game, said Paul Klink, Leo's father.

Soon after, she lost consciousness, he said.

Leo Klink, who had scored two goals in regulation to send the game to overtime, would add another goal in the decisive shootout period — a final hour of innocence and joy given from mother to son.

Hiroyo Klink's body is being kept on life support so her organs can stay healthy for donation later this week, Paul Klink said.

"It should have been me," said Paul Klink, who has been disabled since suffering a series of debilitating heart attacks.

A fund has been established to assist the Klink family. Donations can be made at any Bank of Hawaii location to the "Leo Klink Fund."

As news spread late Saturday about Hiroyo Klink's hospitalization at Kaiser Moana­lua Medical Center, scores of Leo Klink's teammates from the Abu­nai club soccer team and Kalani soccer and football teams made their way to the hospital to lend their support. So overwhelming was the response that the Klinks had to coordinate with hospital staff to find space in the hospital's cafeteria and lobby for more than 150 well-wishers who joined the family vigil.

"We've been surrounded by so much love," said Paul Klink, who is best known for having founded the "Live Aloha" movement, whose bumper stickers encourage people to act with respect and courtesy. "The outpouring of support has been just overwhelming, and we're very grateful for everything that people have done for us. I hope this serves as a reminder to people to be grateful for every moment they have with their loved ones because you never know what can happen."

Paul Klink called Hiroyo his best friend and a loving, devoted mother to Leo.

"Leo and his mom were two peas in a pod," Klink said. "But we'll make it through this together. No matter what happens, I'll be his rock and we'll be OK."






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