Tragedy keeps its crosshairs on Lafayette

A GoFundMe account has been established to help a pair of Lafayette French Immersion teachers return to France with the body of their 13-year-old son, who died suddenly and unexpectedly overnight Sunday.

Oihan Blanc-Guiard loved tennis and music. He was going to be an 8th-grader at Edgar Martin Middle School when the semester begins in a couple of weeks. He was, at 13, an accomplished musician, playing saxophone and guitar.

Sunday night was a typical night in the Blanc-Guiard household in Lafayette. His parents, Emmanuel and Sophie, were gearing up for the school year. They would be united on the faculty at Prairie Elementary where they would both be 4th-grade teachers. Last year, their first in Lafayette, Emmanuel taught at Prairie but Sophie was at Evangeline. Everything was lining up.

But Monday morning Sophie and Emmanuel discovered that Oihan hadn’t survived the night. His cause of death hasn’t been determined.

Now the family is facing a $25,000 expense to get his body back to France for a funeral. The consulate in New Orleans (helpfully?) suggested cremating Oihan to reduce the cost, which doesn’t include Emmanuel and Sophie’s travel expenses. The cost has something to do with visas, but we haven’t been able to ascertain exactly what that means.

Sophie and Emmanuel will remain in France after Oihan’s burial, the thought of returning to the apartment where their son died just too much to bear. Fellow French teachers — it is an amazingly tight, close-knit culture of Francophone educators here in Lafayette, be they French, Belgian, Canadian — have been cleaning out the apartment.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established by friends in Lafayette to help the Blanc-Guiard’s get Oihan’s body back to his homeland for a proper funeral and burial. If you want to help, click here.