A Texas family is in mourning after their 16-year-old daughter died unexpectedly after being found unconscious while away cheerleading camp in July.
Callie Marie Mitchell, a native of Katy, was attending the camp at Texas A&M University when a coach discovered her passed out, after performing CPR, she was rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston where she tragically died on August 1.
In an interview with KHOU, Mitchell’s mother, Michelle, said the teen was ‘super excited’ about the camp. Before her daughter was discovered by the coach, he had called Mitchell’s parents to ask if she had trouble waking up in the morning.
Her mother, who is an assistant principal at Ranch High School, where her daughter attended, said that she told the coach: ‘No, never.’
The parents credited the coach who performed CPR saying that their actions allowed them at least to be able to say goodbye to their daughter.
‘If it wasn’t for [Coach] Eberly, we would have never had the chance to say goodbye,’ Michelle said. ‘[She] always wanted to be a friend to anyone and everyone,’ her father added.
Texas teenager Callie Mitchell died unexpectedly after she fell unconscious while at cheerleading camp
Last week, Mitchell was honored by the Universal Cheerleading Association as she was named an Honorary Lifetime All American Cheerleader
Mitchell’s family credited coach Lorraine Eberly, shown here’s, actions in administering CPR to the teen which at least allowed them the chance to say goodbye
‘More than anything, she would want them to have faith in God and now that they are redeemed,’ her mother also said.
Her father said in an interview with Katy Magazine that he last spoke with his daughter the night before she was found unconscious.
‘You could hear the joy and happiness in her voice,’ he said.
Scott said that his daughter likely passed away due to Long QT syndrome, ‘a heart signaling disorder that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats,’ according to the Mayo Clinic.
‘For any other parents out there, you know they do physicals every year … EKGs are not part of a physical … get an EKG,’ Scott told KHOU who added that Mitchell never exhibited any warning signs regarding her health.
During the interview, her parents said that Mitchell began cheering at the tender age of two. Last week, she was honored by the Universal Cheerleading Association as she was named an Honorary Lifetime All American Cheerleader.
One of her cheer coaches, Justin Castleberry, told Katy Magazine: ‘Some kids you connect with on a different level and Callie was one of those kids. She brought a joy and a light to the room and to everyone she encountered.’
‘You dream of coaching the kids that you are so well connected with. When you coach, you don’t just coach the kid, but you become part of their family,’ he added while also saying that his team will dedicate their season to Mitchell.
Mitchell’s faith is highlighted in an online obituary which notes that she even named her car ‘Faith.’ Her final Instagram Story was a post that read: ‘His plan over mine.’
‘She was like sunshine,’ her mother went on to say in the KHOU interview.
Mitchell pictured here with her father, Scott
Mitchell’s mother, Michelle, said the teen was ‘super excited’ about attending the cheer camp this summer
Mitchell aspired to become a child psychologist after leaving school
In her obituary, Mitchell’s fondness for Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Free Birds, queso and Texas Roadhouse are noted in addition to ‘a special place in her heart for her French bulldogs, Eugene and Ruby.’
She’s also referred to as a ‘dedicated Taylor Swift fan.’ The tribute also says that Mitchell had a ‘unique connection with time and would make a wish at 11:11 a.m., trusting in the magic of the moment.’
At her family’s church, St. Mark Lutheran Church Houston, she sat in the front row and attended Great Adventure Camp where she earned the title of Leader in Training, intending on one day becoming a counselor. That was in addition to volunteering in the community thanks to her participation in the National Charity League.
Mitchell aspired to become a child psychologist after leaving school.
‘Callie had a strong faith. She read her Bible daily could often be found at Starbucks studying her Bible,’ Scott told Katy Magazine.
Mitchell’s family organized a celebration of life on Tuesday with a pink theme, her favorite color. Her cheer coach, named as Denise, wrote in tribute at the event: ‘I will always remember my giggly little girl!’
‘I will forever carry your strength and joy wherever I go, she said.
‘It is comforting to know what a bright light she was to others as well as the impact she has made far and wide,’ her family wrote in the invite to the event.
In addition to her parents, Mitchell is survived by her six siblings.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Mitchell’s family through this difficult time
At the time of writing, the page has raised over $34,000. The original goal was set at $25,000
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Mitchell’s family through this difficult time. At the time of writing, the page has raised over $34,000. The original goal was set at $25,000.
Among the contributors was Villa Sports, where Mitchell had recently started working. Her brother, Luke, also works there.
Spurred by the deaths of teenagers like Mitchell who die each year by sudden cardiac arrest, Texas lawmakers made their state the first to require public high school athletes to undergo electrocardiogram testing in 2015.
The law, named Cody’s Law, was named for Cody Stephens, a teen football player in the state who died suddenly in 2012.