Sixteen-year-old Callie Marie Mitchell faced an unforeseen cardiac arrest during a cheer camp at Texas A&M University, ultimately leading to the teenager’s untimely death earlier this month.
Mitchell’s parents broke their silence in an interview with KHOU 11 on Wednesday, revealing their daughter’s cause of death and lamenting the loss of an individual they characterized as “pure sunshine.”
“Probably what happened was a cardiac arrest that was caused by Long QT syndrome,” Mitchell’s father, Scott Donahue, said.
According to reports, Mitchell was immediately airlifted from College Station after suffering the cardiac arrest; however, death’s capricious whims resisted the efforts to save her life as Mitchell succumbed to her condition.
Medical examinations conducted post the tragic incident suggested the root cause. According to health experts, the underlying issue was an undiagnosed arrhythmia — essentially a malfunction of the electric system that controls one’s heart. Such conditions, although rare, can be particularly fatal if not detected and treated in a timely manner.
Mitchell’s grieving parents used the opportunity to warn other parents to have their children undergo electrocardiogram tests, or EKGs, in order to ensure their cardiac health.
“For any other parents out there, you know they do physicals every year … EKGs are not part of a physical … get an EKG,” Scott continued.
The parents also emphasized Mitchell’s love of cheerleading and fervent faith in God’s providence. Despite the unbelievable tragedy of their loss, the parents emphasized Mitchell’s maxim of “His plan over mine.”
“More than anything [Callie] would want [her teammates] to have faith in God and know that they are redeemed,” the girl’s mother said.
“Cody’s Law,” signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2019, requires that parents be given the opportunity to have EKGs done on student athletes. However, the test remains optional under the law as it currently exists.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.