DEKALB COUNTY, GA. —A 17-year-old girl in Georgia passed out during practice and never woke up.
Elyse Purefoy was training with the dance team when she passed out.
Purefoy’s father mourned the loss of his daughter during a news conference Monday.
“She was a beautiful spirit,” said her father, Hank Purefoy. “I’m going to miss her.”
Purefoy was a member of the Arabia Mountain High School dance team.
“Just last night, I was helping her practice her stands for dance and now she’s gone,” said Elona Purefoy, the girl’s sister.
Her family said she got to the high school around 7 a.m. Monday for dance team practice.
At practice, she and her teammates were asked to run several laps around the high school’s track.
After the run, Purefoy collapsed.
“She was my first real friend that I made on my own. I’ve known her since 1st grade,” said Lauren Linesay, a friend.
Emergency crews were called to the scene.
It was too late.
Purefoy’s heart stopped on the way to the hospital.
Her father said extreme dehydration played a role in her death.
“I think the schools need to take it more seriously when they hear complaints from their participants. I think a lot of it is overlooked sometimes as you being weak,” said Arianna Ameler, a friend of Purefoy.
Her teammates said she’d asked her coaches for a water break several times during practice but was denied.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses.