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Med School Student Center Named For Westfield's Dr. Derrick Nelson

Derrick Nelson
Derrick Nelson Photo Credit: Facebook

The late principal of Westfield High School widely praised for his service in the military and for his dedication to the students in his charge has received another honor, a Roseland law firm announced Thursday.

Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine , which is located at Seton Hall University in South Orange, has named its student life center for Derrick Nelson, who died in April after he fell into a coma following a bone-marrow transplant procedure. The facility will now be known as the Dr. Derrick Nelson Student Life Services Center, according to a release from Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman.

"The Dr. Derrick Nelson Student Life Services is the social, emotional and spiritual center for student life. The location, which now bears Dr. Nelson’s name, offers students and faculty a place to socialize, relax and interact," the firm said.

Nelson, 44,. was donating his bone marrow to a French teen he had never met, a process that was chronicled in the school newspaper.

Nelson, who served 20 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, was posthumously named Grand Marshal of Westfield's Memorial Day Parade and a petition asking that the high school be renamed for him has received thousands of signatures.

Mazie Slater Katz and Freeman is representing Nelson's fiancee in litigation stemming from his death. The wrongful death suit, announced in July, originally named Hackensack University Medical Center as a defendant, but the case against the hospital has been dismissed, attorney Dave Mazie told Daily Voice Thursday. The transplant procedure was carried out at HUMC, which is part of the Hackensack Meridian health system.

The case against the anesthesiologist who assisted at Nelson's operation is ongoing, Mazie also said.

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