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16-year-old cheerleader dead after ‘probably’ going into cardiac arrest, father says

Callie Mitchell, a 16-year-old rising junior at Morton Ranch High School in Texas, is dead after what her father thinks was a cardiac arrest at cheer camp.

A rising high school junior died recently while attending a cheer camp at Texas A&M.

Callie Mitchell, 16, was airlifted to Texas Children's Hospital after a coach performed CPR at the campus where she later died.

Mitchell was set to begin her junior year at Morton Ranch High School in Katy, Texas, where her mother is an assistant principal, according to KHOU.

Days earlier, a coach called the parents asking if Callie had "a problem waking up this morning." Her mother, Michelle Donahue, said she "never" did.


Her parents then drove to the campus, where they learned CPR had to be performed on their daughter.

"If it wasn't for [the coach], we would have never had the chance to say goodbye," Donahue told KHOU.

Mitchell's father, Scott Donahue, said his daughter had long QT syndrome, a conduction disorder that impairs the electrical system controlling the heartbeat. The condition if often inherited, the New York Post notes.

Scott says Mitchell "probably" went into a cardiac arrest that was caused by the condition. Long QT is detectable by electrocardiogram (EKG), which is optional during athletic physicals in Texas.

Mitchell's father is now urging parents to get EKGs for their kids.

"For any other parents out there, you know they do physicals every year. ... EKGs are not part of a physical. ... Get an EKG," Scott said.

Mitchell was "like sunshine" who began cheering at the age of two, her mother said.

"Always wanted to be a friend to anyone and everyone," Scott added.


"Callie was a young lady of many passions," her obituary states. "She was a cheerleader who brought cheerfulness to those around her. She was an avid reader and cherished her moments spent with family and friends. Callie also had a special place in her heart for her French bulldogs, Eugene and Ruby. 

"A dedicated Taylor Swift fan, Callie loved to drive with the windows open, embracing life's every moment. Her love for the color pink reflected her vibrant personality. Callie relished the taste of Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Free Birds, queso from any restaurant, and Texas Roadhouse. 

"Callie had a unique connection with time and would make a wish at 11:11 a.m., trusting in the magic of the moment. At church, she was the spirited teenager who always insisted on the front row, reflecting her strong faith and commitment to her beliefs. 

"She adorned her car, ‘Faith,’ with a cross hanging from the mirror, symbolizing her unwavering devotion. A natural leader, Callie attended Great Adventure Camp and took on the role of Leader in Training, excited about her future plans to become a counselor there. She aspired to be a child psychologist, reflecting her compassionate and caring nature. Callie was also a member of NCL Star Katy, where she loved to volunteer in the community."

Mitchell had left for the cheer camp July 24, according to her mother.

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