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A George family is devastated after their 17-year-old daughter collapsed and died during a dance team practice earlier this week.

According to WSB-TV, on Monday (June 10) high school senior Elyse Purefoy was participating in the school’s dance team practice when she passed out running on Arabia Mountain High School’s track.

First responders rushed the the Lithonia teen to the Dekalb Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

Naturally, her family is heartbroken.

“She was a beautiful spirit. We’re going to miss her,” Hank Purefoy, her father, told WSB.

As for now, Elyse’s cause of death remains unknown and the incident remains under investigation. But the teen’s brother believes his sister’s death was either a result of “severe dehydration” or and unknown and undiagnosed “heart condition.”

While the weather was only 72 degrees that day, WGCL reported that witnesses at the scene claim that Elyse asked for water multiple times and was told no by her coach.

“I think schools need to take it more seriously when they’re hearing complaints from their participants,” Elyse’s friend Arianna Ameler told WGCL. “I think a lot of it is overlooked as you being weak.”

After news of Elyse’s death broke, the school district released a statement addressing the tragic incident.

“The entire DeKalb County School District community, and especially the Arabia Mountain High School family, mourns the passing of a member of the school’s dance team. Our hearts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.”

Elyse was a well-loved student who was the captain of the cheerleading team and boasted a 3.9 GPA. She would have been a senior this coming school year.

Rest in peace Elyse.

Elyse’s family has created a GoFund Me campaign to help raise funds for the teen’s funeral. Learn more here.

This is a developing story and we will provide updates when they become available. 


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