FORT THOMAS, Ky. (WLWT) – A 13-year-old Northern Kentucky cheerleader died suddenly as a result of a strep infection, and a coroner confirmed Friday.
Lilliana Schalck, Highlands Middle School student, died suddenly in February while participating with a private cheerleading team of Premiere Athletics at a competition in Columbus.
She fell ill during the competition and was taken to a nearby hospital.
"Apparently, an underlying
A newly released coroner's report said the 13-year-old died of a disseminated bacterial infection as a result of Group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus. Strep infection overwhelmed her immune system with little or no warning, and catastrophic results, " a statement from Schalck family said. "We knew this report was coming and I have honestly mixed feelings about it. On one hand it does not change anything for us. But, on the other hand, we would not want this nightmare on anyone and maybe this report might help prevent similar results for someone else. Lilliana would certainly help if she could, and this is just an extension of that spirit. "
Lilliana Schalck made history with Highlands athletics, the first of two eighth graders to make the varsity cheerleading team this year. She also cheered on two teams at the competitive cheerleading gym of Premiere Athletics
"I wanted to support her, so we'd have something to talk about," her father, Dan Schalck, said. "It's kind of quiet driving five hours from an event if there's nothing to talk about."
She found her natural calling and took off with it, "he said. "She put in the work. She put in the hours. We have been in the gym 20 hours a week for I do not know how long. "
Dan Schalck said he did not notice any warning signs or anything out of the norm for his daughter. She was healthy and in top shape. She had been complaining of a nagging hamstring injury. She also caught a little cold last week, but her father thought she'd fought it off
Then, minutes before she was set to perform, her coach found Dan Schalck and told him his daughter was not acting like herself. ] Now, as her teammates end their season, her friends are honoring her life.
After the teen's death, a scholarship fund was created in her name. A new award will go to an athlete who exemplifies Schalck's values.