Freshman Cross Country runner collapses and dies

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by G5Unit, Sep 27, 2007.

  1. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    I'm calling the cops
    #1
    Link to Story

    I'm trying to get how sad this is through my head. I am a cross country runner and I ran against this school last thursday and saturday, our town is San Clemente. It's hard to imagine that I was there, and I'm sure I saw her having fun with her friends, not knowing that she had a week left to live.

    I didn't know her personally, but it's so difficult to get through my head. It's so sad, she was only 14.



    [​IMG]
    In Memory:(
     
  2. Leareth macrumors 68000

    Leareth

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    #2
    why is this kind off scenario happening more often especially in highschool kids?

    Its sad when young athletes end up like this.


    Just an observation but she does not look fourteen more like 24...
     
  3. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

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    #3
    When my brother was in high school, he had something similar happen to one of the guys he knew. Apparently, this guy was just shooting hoops in the gym after school when he died. Heart failure of some sort, I heard.

    Sometimes people have rare genetic heart conditions (murmurs, irregular heartbeat) that they don't know about.
     
  4. jimN macrumors 6502a

    jimN

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    #4
    It'll most likely be Long QT syndrome or an undiagnosed cardiomyopathy, possibly a viral myocarditis. I know that in the states college athletes often have ECGs and echocardiograms to exclude such problems but the general population don't. Obviously this is very sad although it's difficult to say if it was unavoidable.
     
  5. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #5
    Not saying for all cases, but the prevalence of caffeine and the amounts of caffeine being consumed is a very real issue. People with undiagnosed heart conditions can be dramatically and even fatally impacted by too much caffeine at once-- especially when combined with bursts of adrenaline and hard exercise. :(

    Yup, similar case with two different boys at local high schools. I think both were wrestlers (their cases might have been more extreme due to the additional strain of making weight.
     
  6. jvencius macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #6
    Yep--if someone is prone to PSVT, "juicing" on a couple of Red Bulls before a race or other athletic event (NOT saying at all that this young woman did that) isn't a good idea at all.
     
  7. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #7
    this is very sad news indeed. if something like this happened at my old high school, it would be terrible. i can't even imagine what that team is going through. i'm still close with my high school coach and a little with the high school team

    i really don't think it's the caffine (even though it could be). caffine has been around for awhile. i think it's the fact the kids growing up in air-conditioning homes, not playing outside as much, and then try to run cross-country in the heat. just my opinion

    also, there is a girl on my college team that is literally illergic to running
     
  8. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #8
    Um, actually it was caffeine that exaggerated the unknown and underlying heart conditions of those high school athletes in my area.

    And the extreme prevalence and sheer volume of caffeine in these newer "energy" drinks can most certainly trigger an issue when coupled with aggressive exercise.

    Caffeine is a drug. One easily and readily overlooked. But a drug nonetheless. It can and often is abused. And it can and does have a physiological impact.
     
  9. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #9
    maybe so. but there is a reason caffeine is not banned. it's only when you have a certain amount in your body is when it becomes dangerous. (for most people anyway)

    i'm not saying go take some caffeine pills or anything. yeah, then your asking for trouble. i drink sweet tea everyday, more than most people, and it has caffeine. the worst thing about it is it dehydrates you. (to a certain extent anyway). believe me, i do more aggressive exercise than most, and i'm still here.

    my mom drinks more coffee than anyone i've ever seen, and for the last 20 years. she doesn't do much exercise though, but still.

    maybe some cases it is the caffeine, but i'd say there are more cases related to heat. especially in other sports like football. (including players in the nfl as well)
     
  10. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

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    #10
    Caffeine is banned from NCAA. At least they were when I was at Cal on a Division I team. They tested for it.


    And the point, I think, has been missed.

    We are NOT talking about your average high schooler or "most" people. We're specifically talking about people with undiagnosed and/or unknown underlying heart conditions.

    For people with that? Yes, a sudden intake of caffeine can most certainly have immediate negative impact.
     
  11. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #11
    it is banned, but only a certain amount and over (basically if you drank a gallon of coffee before the test, you'd fail it, otherwise, a certain amount is permissable)

    even people with undiagnosed and/or unknown underlying heart conditions, i'd still say that heat can be a huge factor (clearly there are other factors as well).

    we don't know that this girl has a heart condition (then it would be known), and we don't know that she took caffeine.
     
  12. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

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    #12
    Something similar happened to a school friend, we were running laps around our football pitch. Must have been about 10 at the time. It was only light jogging but he had a heart attack. :eek:
    Another similar thing happened to a footballer my girlfriends mum used to coach. Heart failure in the middle of a game.

    The papers were saying that it's only a recently discovered thing. That an otherwise healthy person can just have this happen to them out of the blue during even the lightest of sports. Can't remember the exact details.

    Poor girl :( it's devastating when it happens. I wish her family the best.
     
  13. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

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    Iowa City, Iowa
    #13
    Bummer

    That is very unfortunate to hear about these sorts of things. My brother runs cross country and track. You would be surprised what kind of medical conditions slip through the cracks.

    Recently my brother was diagnosed with a circulatory insufficiency in his left leg; the coaches kept writing it off as pain from all the running (about 12 miles a day!), but the doctors indicated it could be a risk for stroke, among other things.

    I would not be surprised to hear, in the end, that this girl's unfortunate passing was due to a pathological heart condition of some kind, possibly exacerbated (as some of you have mentioned) by caffeine intake.

    Sad to hear. I feel for her family.
     
  14. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #14
    Puts a new meaning to "Hard work never killed anyone":eek:

    But seriously, this is really sad news. if she was my friend I don't think I could cope.
     
  15. furcalchick macrumors 68020

    furcalchick

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    #15
    for some reason, we're hearing more and more about physically fit people just dropping dead like this lately. it's very tragic and pretty scary as well to hear about all of this. i know the broncos player and wake forest basketball coach both died during physical exercise this year. i know the broncos player's brother had to have a heart transplant (he's in his 20's) due to a heart problem, so he may of had a heart problem as well. the coach, i don't know much about him. i'm not sure if it's our diet or if heart problems are going unchecked, but this something that's not going to go away, unfortunately.
     
  16. Father Jack macrumors 68020

    Father Jack

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    #16
    Such a tragic waste of a young life.

    R.I.P. ... :(
     
  17. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #17
    The whole time I watched this on the news (I am near Dana so local news gets played a lot) I thought it was caffeine. I cannot really think of anything that really would explain otherwise.

    Caffeine, while not ruled as an illegal drug is bad. There is really no reason why there should be a dispute over this. I was a heavy caffeine drinker and have cut down (but not cut out) significantly. Caffeine is counter intuitive to weight loss and messes with sleep patterns. If you feel like you have to have coffee to wake up then there are other alternatives to this. Go to sleep earlier, exercise more, and eat better.

    I really feel for this girl and her family. We really rally against children being physically fit but this just tosses people into a state of confusion or at least further denial that exercise does help. These random cases are becoming less random, but it should not deter people from working on themselves. Exercise + Caffeine = bad news.
     
  18. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #18
    apparently not many people around here have heard of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

    not everyone drinks "energy drinks". but heat is everywhere, depending on the season. and if your body is not used to it......bad things happen

    on another note, more exercise will not wake you up in the morning, only make you more tired. (i bolded what i am referring to)
     
  19. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Man, I have a good friend of mine who runs. She's 18....it would totally suck to hear that she died, and I don't know if it would be good knowing she died doing something she loved, or depressing.
     
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

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    #20
    Heat stroke does happen, but it generally won't kill you unless there's an underlying condition. It's nearly impossible to force your body to perform to the point where it actually becomes lethal. Our bodies are designed to shut down before that point, for good reason. Of course, if there's something else at play, like a heart condition, then hard exercise in the heat can play in to it and have fatal results.

    A good friend of mine and one of the best runners on my college cross country team collapsed like this. He was running the conference championship meet, and was about 200m from winning it by a large margin. It was a very hot day. Then he began slowing down, and looked unsteady on his feet. Everyone kept cheering him on, thinking it was just exhaustion. Then he fell. He got back to his feet, still in the lead, and began to slowly shuffle towards the finish. He fell again, and now people started to get worried. He got up again and got passed by the second place runner. He was still trying to race, so nobody wanted to pull him off the course (if anyone were to help him, he'd be disqualified, and he was still trying to win). Then he fell a third time, and people ran on to the course and started calling for medical help.

    Turns out he had a heart condition that nobody knew about. An ambulance rushed him to the hospital packed in ice, but couldn't get his heart rate down below 180 for about an hour. He ended up having surgery and being Ok (and going on to be an NCAA all-american in the steeplechase, by the way) but at the time it happened, it was very, very scary. This story reminds me of that day... very scary, and very sad.

    Rest in Peace, Megan.
     
  21. jaydub macrumors 6502a

    jaydub

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    #21
    I remember when I was in high school some 12-13 years ago, there was a runner who collapsed and died like this. It was really sad, he was a talented athlete doing what he loved.

    Seems like this case was very similar. Rest in peace.
     
  22. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #22
    this is what i was talking about. i think this is more common than athletes dying from caffeine.

    but anyways, the point is that this is a terrible tragedy that i wouldn't want happen to anyone anywhere.
     
  23. iDAG macrumors 65816

    iDAG

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    #23
    This just hits home with me being a Cross Country runner and now I'm scarred.:( In the past two weeks, I passed out (at school but not during practice) from dehydration and later that day they gave me an EKG. The results have come back and they think the right side of my heart might be a little big. Now I need to go back to the doctor soon for more testing. I didn't run last week but I have a race tomorrow and all I hope happens is that I can race to the best of my ability and somehow PR.
     
  24. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #24
    yeah, it is kinda scary. but hang in there. just do what you can do. the doctors will decide if you should run or not, but also listen to your body. if your vision starts getting blurry and you start getting dizzy then STOP
     

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