Elyse Purefoy, a 17-year-old cheerleading captain at Arabia Mountain High School in Georgia, has passed away. According to a report from WGCL, Elyse was participating in a dance team workout session before she collapsed during a run. She died while being transported to the hospital.
There is currently no official cause of death.
Elyse’s father says that she had undergone a physical prior to joining the dance team. And while there is no official cause of death, her brother, Malik Purefoy, said that he believes there are two potential causes.
“One was that it was severe dehydration,” he said, via WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta. “Another one is that she had a heart problem.”
According to the New York Post, temperatures in the area were 72 degrees at the time of her 7:00 a.m. practice.
The DeKalb County Schools District confirmed the news of her passing and said that the community “mourns the passing of a member of the school’s dance team. Our hearts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”
A GoFundMe account has been created to help the family help with the cost of her funeral. The fundraiser has already eclipsed its $5,000 goal.
Today started just like any other day. I made you breakfast and lunch, and hugged you and told you to have fun at dance training. I smiled as I saw you and your brother get in the car to drive you to practice, but who could have known that you would not be coming home to us. The doctors did their best to bring you back but your heart just stopped working.
The Purefoy family added, “Elyse you are a beautiful spirit. And we will miss you so much.”
Our deepest condolences go out to all of Elyse’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult and tragic time.