Kylie Truax will be missed by her family, friends and the loved ones she found at Salty Church.
At just 14 years old, Kylie Truax had a voice that her friends and family could only describe as that of a “1970s blues singer.” While at first she was too shy to sing in front of other people, winning first place in her school’s talent show in sixth-grade gave her the confidence to show off her pipes. And once she found her voice, she never stopped singing.
“Right before she went out there, we prayed for courage,” said her mother, Stacie Truax. “And she came out with courage of a lion. She was unstoppable. After that, she’d sing her heart out to anyone who would listen."
It was her mother who first introduced her to singer Meghan Trainor and her core message about being yourself. From then on, she was Kylie Truax's favorite artist and she loved singing her song, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You,” — which about loving someone like you’re about to lose them — around the house.
“I was really sick with cancer in 2009, and I’m better now, but when she was first singing that song, I told her I wasn’t a fan of it,” Stacie Truax said. “But she said 'Mom, when I hear that song, the first person I think of is you.’ Now it’s my favorite, and I only hear it in her voice.”
The song holds even more meaning to the Truax family after Kylie Truax died Aug. 3 from an unexpected blood infection. She had just returned from camp and was complaining of a scratchy throat and ear ache. Her father, Dan Truax, took her to the doctor, who diagnosed her with tonsillitis and prescribed her with amoxicillin, but the next day, she said she had no energy and her arms and legs hurt. She was taken to Florida Hospital Oceanside where it was determined she had low blood pressure and had a sepsis — a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. While the diagnosis was serious, the doctors and her family believed that she would have to spend some time in the hospital, but would soon make a full recovery.
“She said she couldn’t breathe, and then she just left us,” her mother said. “They still don’t know what happened. She was a premie and came into the world six weeks early. She had to spend a month in the hospital before she came home, and I remember praying 'Lord please I want my baby home.’ I was saying the same prayer again before she went to be with God.”
Though the Truax family is still feeling the heartbreak of losing one of their own, they said want to focus on remembering everything about Kylie that made her so Kylie. The 14-year-old loved crafting, playing ukulele with her best friend, Zoe Jack, skateboarding, football, singing with STAND (the youth worship team at Salty Church), telling jokes and making silly faces.
"She made these crazy, funny faces,” Stacie Truax said, “She would just randomly look at you and make one, and you better make one back.”
Kylie Truax also loved being around her family, and was really sad when her older brother, Javan, and older sister, Cheyenne, weren’t around.
“She was always showing off pictures of Cheyenne to her friends,” Stacie Truax said. “Always bragging about how pretty she was. And she would always bug Javan to play, and he never got annoyed with her like most teenage boys would.”
"She loved animals,” her sister said. “She wanted to be a veterinarian a before she wanted to be a pop star. And she loved the pineapple, and what it symbolized. We found out after looking on her Pinterest that it meant standing tall, wearing your crown and being sweet on the inside.”
"She had a way of making people feel loved,” Stacie Truax said. "If you were having a bad day and didn’t know your worth, she would tell you what she thought about you, and what Jesus thought about you.”
And it was clear at her funeral what people thought of Kylie. Over 300 people attended — many that Stacie Truax did not know — and almost everyone had a story to share about how the 14-year-old had helped them.
“One girl was going to commit suicide, and Kylie talked her out of it,” she said. “Another boy came up to me and said ‘I was bullied all the time, and Kylie always stood up for me. She’d show off her biceps and tell them to leave me alone.’ Kylie never told me any of this. The only comfort we have is knowing she is with Jesus and knowing just how much she was loved and all the hearts she touched."
Rest in Peace, Kylie Truax. You will truly be missed.