13-Year-Old Ohio Cheerleader’s Sudden Death was Because of Sepsis Caused By a Strep Infection

Lilliana Schalck of Columbus, Ohio, was living a normal life when she passed away suddenly during a cheerleading competition in February. The 13-year-old had been healthy until just before she died, but an underlying—and common—strep infection caused her to develop sepsis, which ultimately took her life.

Lilliana and her father, Dan, were attending a cheerleading competition in February when her father said that Lilliana began to feel weak. In an interview with FOX19, her father said that she was “kinda out of sorts,” with symptoms like numbness in her hands, hamstring pain, and feeling all-around weak. Lilliana was rushed to the hospital and just hours later was pronounced dead.

“We went from waiting for her to perform at 5:50 to holding her hand and they announced that she had passed at 7:40,” her father told FOX19.

The Schalk family revealed the cause of Lilliana’s death from her autopsy. “Apparently an underlying strep infection overwhelmed her immune system with little or no warning, and (resulted in) catastrophic results,” the family said in a statement.

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SOURCE: Health.com, Christina Oehler