What happened to Callie Marie Mitchell? Parents speak out as Texas teen dies at cheer camp

Callie Marie Mitchell (Image via Schmidt Funeral Home)
Callie Marie Mitchell (Image via Schmidt Funeral Home)

Callie Marie Mitchell, a Texas teen, died unexpectedly after being found unresponsive at cheer camp last month. The 16-year-old was reportedly declared dead on August 1, a few days after she was found unresponsive at a cheerleading camp, at Texas A&M University.

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In an interview with KHOU 11 this week, Callie’s mom Michelle Donahue said that her daughter, described as, "pure sunshine," suffered a cardiac arrest precipitated by Long QT syndrome. According to Mayo Clinic, Long QT syndrome (LQTS) “is a heart signalling disorder that can cause fast, chaotic heartbeats (arrhythmias).”

The condition can reportedly be detected on an electrocardiogram (EKG). Callie’s mother said that in the wake of her daughter’s sudden demise, she wants other parents to be aware of the condition that can be inherited. Callie’s parents implored other children’s parents to have their kids undergo an electrocardiogram (EKG) on their hearts to prevent tragedies.


Details of Callie Marie Mitchell's death explored

Callie Marie Mitchell’s mom Michelle Donahue told KHOU that her daughter’s health problem arrived without any prior warning. She did not exhibit any signs of Long QT syndrome before suffering a cardiac arrest at the cheer camp.

Detailing the incident, Donahue said that her daughter left for cheer camp on July 24, 2023. A few days later, the coach called Callie’s parents after she was found unresponsive at the camp. The coach, who had trouble waking up the teen, reportedly called the parents to ask if she had issues getting up in the morning.

"She said, 'Hey, does Callie have a problem waking up in the morning?' And I said, 'No never.”

The concerned parents then drove to the cheer camp, where the coach performed CPR on the teen, who was airlifted to Texas Children’s Hospital, where she later died. The parents thanked the coach for her swift thinking in administering CPR, as it enabled them to say goodbye to their daughter.

"If it wasn't for [Coach] Eberly, we would have never had the chance to say goodbye."

Following their daughter’s death, Michelle and Scott Donahue warned parents to be aware of the deadly condition and implored them to get an EKG. Scott Donahue told KHOU 11:

“For any other parents out there, you know they do physicals every year … EKGs are not part of a physical … get an EKG.”

Callie Marie Mitchell was set to start school in a few weeks

Callie Marie Mitchell’s mother, Michelle, who is the assistant principal at Morton Ranch High School, said that her daughter was about to start school in a few weeks.

The grieving mother described her late daughter as a kind person. In a touching tribute in an obituary, Callie's parents wrote:

“Callie was a young lady of many passions. 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.”

The 16-year-old’s funeral services were held on August 7, 2023.

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