An 18-year-old high school student in Virginia died mysteriously just hours after complaining of a headache. That teenager has been named Broad Run High School softball star Madison Small. She passed away on April in Ashburn, Virginia.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Died After Suffering From Neisseria Sepsis
One of Small’s friends, Devan Rock, told the Washington Post that Small’s organs just failed her. He said “She went to urgent care in the afternoon, and they sent her home – didn’t think anything was wrong with her.” She died after suffering from Neisseria Sepsis. A rare bacterial infection.
Her father, Tim Small, told WUSA, that his daughter was fine when he played catch with her on April 5. Two days later, Tim Small emailed her softball coach, Ed Steele, to say his daughter wouldn’t be playing in the team’s game that night. Later, Tim Small called Steele to say Madison Small had died. Just before junior year of high school, Small had a rib removed, reports the Washington Post.
2. She Was Headed for Virginia Tech
The Washington Post report mentions how Small was going to Virginia Tech next fall. She says on her Facebook page that she was already a student at Virginia Tech. In the Post piece, her high school softball coach says that she was one who drove home the winning run that helped the team win their last state championship in 2012. The Washington Post also reports that she was the only one of her group of friends who played sports.
3. One Teacher Said of Small ‘Everybody Just Loved Her’
At an impromptu rally held for Small at her high school on the night she died, around 500 people showed up, according to school principal Dave Spage, who was speaking to NBC Washington. One of Small’s teachers, Lynn Davies, who attended the rally told the station, “She came into class every day with a positive attitude, a smile on her face. She was kind and empathetic to every student in the classroom. Everybody just loved her.” Grief counselors are in place at the school for students.
4. There’s Been an Outpouring of Emotion for Small on Twitter
Using the hashtag “#WEplayfor24,” friends and strangers alike have been paying tribute to Small. Here are the most touching.
5. Local Authorities Have Said There Is No Further Risk
Although the exact cause of Small’s death hasn’t been established, the Loudoun County Health Department have said that there is no risk to the rest of the community. Speaking to the Washington Post, Nancy Bull, with the department said “The [post-mortem] examination is not yet complete, so no information is available at this time.”