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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

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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Manoa_Fisherman wrote:
Kodomo No Tame Ni
on February 13,2013 | 01:07AM
808kela wrote:
Our heartfelt sympathy to the Klink family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
on February 13,2013 | 01:25AM
mrrdgreen wrote:
My Condolences.
on February 13,2013 | 03:27AM
ainokea1964 wrote:
My Condolences to the Klink Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. RIP Hiroyo
on February 13,2013 | 04:06AM
qtpa2t wrote:
Watching the game Saturday night I was in awe watching Leo. Every time Kalani got the ball I said to myself "oh no...watch out for Klink" and he would get the ball and magic would happen. I found myself, a Punahou supporter, cheering for Klink. Hearing the news about his mom breaks my heart, I can't imagine what Leo and his family is going through. I do know that being part of a team will help him through this tough time.
on February 13,2013 | 05:22AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Beyond sad. Condolences to the entire Klink ohana.
on February 13,2013 | 05:46AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Words can't even begin to express this tragedy. To the Klink family, even in death your mom/wife is helping others by donating her organs to those in need. Keep her legacy alive by doing good things with your lives. Prayers are with you. Stay strong.
on February 13,2013 | 06:04AM
Masami wrote:
on February 13,2013 | 06:31AM
kk808 wrote:
on February 13,2013 | 07:27AM
aomohoa wrote:
What more can be said. They will love her forever.
on February 13,2013 | 09:26AM
McCully wrote:
Just a sad, sad story. As a Kalani alumni, this really hits home to one of our family. My deepest condolences to Leo and his Dad.
on February 13,2013 | 06:09AM
Wisdomthree wrote:
Leo, your mom will always be there in spirit with you.
on February 13,2013 | 06:52AM
kennie1933 wrote:
My heartfelt condolences. It's too bad she did not see Kalani win that championship and that she will not see her son graduate. Yet, I'm sure she saw and will see in spirit.
on February 13,2013 | 07:13AM
katoosh808 wrote:
Somebody write a screen play, make it a movie....and proceeds forwarded to the family. There would be no dry eyes in the theater at the end of this movie.
on February 13,2013 | 07:19AM
cojef wrote:
A very sad and yet heart warming story of a coommunity oriented family. Even in death the family is donating her organs to others in need. Truly a brave and remarkable family. R.I.P.
on February 13,2013 | 07:40AM
PokeStop wrote:
Just heartbreaking to hear the sad news. Condolences to the Klink family. Stay strong Leo and you will go places in the future. An angel will be watching over you.
on February 13,2013 | 08:06AM
kaleboy wrote:
God bless your family. My deepest condolences.
on February 13,2013 | 08:17AM
hon2255 wrote:
Godbless and watch over the Klinks, I hope a college gives this young man a full scholarship, he deserves it , make mom and dad proud Leo, you have already, from a Kalani alum, you make me proud to be a Kalani grad, I am thankful that you decided to attend Kalani ,you represent the school and community, at the highest level . Don't worry we will help you, you will attend college and you will succeed. Take care ,god bless.
on February 13,2013 | 09:45AM
nj24 wrote:
I'm so sad about this. On the day of Leo's great athletic triumph is also is his day of loses his mother. WOW. I cannot imagine what the family is going through. My heart and prays go out to the family.
on February 13,2013 | 10:43AM
dlum003 wrote:
Really heartbreaking for the Klinks. Take strength from your Mom, young Leo, draw from her life and memory to drive what looks like a tremendously bright future ahead for you and your Dad. Don't be afraid to cry, there is absolutely no shame in your grief. Hawaii is here for you, son.
on February 13,2013 | 10:58AM
4watitsworth wrote:
This is too sad. I am so sorry for your loss. I'm glad you have a solid network of family and friends who will help you through this devastating time. Although she will not be with you physically anymore, I'm sure she will always be watching over you. It will take time for the sadness to subside but just take one day at a time. I hope remembering all the good times you've had together will make you feel better. Take care and best wishes. Aloha.
on February 13,2013 | 11:59AM
control wrote:
This condition is far too common. A co-worker died of a brain hemorrhage at age 40, even after going to the doctor multiple times complaining of a head ache. Two other co-workers had a relative or friend who also died young. In one case after two trips to the ER that were mis-diagnosed. And a forth person I know who was lucky and survived. Doctors and ER types need to wake up. Condolences to the family.
on February 13,2013 | 12:58PM
bigd wrote:
Paul Klink is as much a stud as his son. To found "Live Aloha" in poor health and have such a positive outlook: "I'll be his rock and will be OK." Small wonder his son is a hero like him.
on February 13,2013 | 01:37PM
Skyler wrote:
I just realized that i knew her from Canon Hawaii contests... she was the person who contacted participants when they won. :-( RIP Hiroyo...
on February 13,2013 | 01:52PM
hunebasami wrote:
What a touching story. I cried after reading this, This's what mothers love is all about. God bless this family please....
on February 13,2013 | 05:49PM
Leonidas69 wrote:
Sincerest condolences to the Klink family.
on February 13,2013 | 05:57PM
kolohekeiki wrote:
My deepest condolences to Leo Klink and his `ohana. I was just amazed by the talent of this young man watching the state championship on tv the last two years. He is an amazing young man and Leo will definitely go far in life with his talent and his humble attitude. Keep your head up and just surround yourself with the amazing support system that you have. You won over so many fans here in Hawai`i watching on OC16(12), all of Hawai`i is here for you!
on February 13,2013 | 11:54PM
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