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‘Pure sunshine’ 16-year-old dies from heart complication at Texas cheerleading camp: parents


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A Texas teen described by her loved ones as “pure sunshine” died suddenly earlier this month from a medical complication at cheerleading camp, her heartbroken family told local news.

Callie Marie Mitchell, 16, of Katy, was pronounced dead on Aug. 1, just a few days after she was found unresponsive at cheerleading camp at Texas A&M University, her mother, Michelle Donahue, told KHOU 11 this week.

She was airlifted to Texas Children’s Hospital, where she later died, the outlet reported.

“Probably what happened was a cardiac arrest that was caused by Long QT syndrome,” Mitchell’s father, Scott Donahue, explained.

Long QT syndrome is a conduction disorder that impairs the electrical system controlling the heartbeat, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The condition, which is often inherited, can be detected on an electrocardiogram (EKG).

Under Texas’ Cody’s Law, parents are automatically given the opportunity to have EKGs done on young athletes, KHOU 11 noted — but the test is still optional.

“For any other parents out there, you know they do physicals every year … EKGs are not part of a physical … get an EKG,” Scott counseled.

Mitchell, who was a rising junior, started cheerleading at just 2 years old, her parents said.

The active young woman’s death, they continued, came with zero warning signs.

“She left for cheer camp on a [July 24] and she was super excited,” Michelle Donahue recalled.

The active young woman’s death, they continued, came with zero warning signs.

A few days later, however, the cheer coach called and asked if their daughter had “‘a problem waking up in the morning.’”

By the time the concerned family got to the Texas A&M campus, the coach had already performed CPR on the teen.

“If it wasn’t for [Coach] Eberly, we would have never had the chance to say goodbye,” her mother said.

Almost two weeks after her passing, her parents want others to remember Mitchell’s faith — which was so devout she even named her car “Faith,” according to her obituary.

The cheerleader’s last Instagram Story, they said, read, “His plan over mine.”

“More than anything, she would want them to have faith in God and know that they are redeemed,” Michelle Donahue said.

The grieving mother is the assistant principal at Morton Ranch High school, where Mitchell was set to start school in just a few weeks.

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