Missouri high school student dies after collapsing at swimming pool

Emma Aronson died unexpectedly after swimming with her friends. (Courtesy Emma Aronson family)

A Missouri high school student died this past week after collapsing at a pool while swimming with her friends.

Emma Aronson was with her boyfriend and other friends at a local pool where they were racing against each other in the water.

"She was done racing and she just resting on the edge of pool," Jason Aronson, Emma's father, told ABC News. "She said 'I feel so tired'...then she just passed out."

Aronson said that his daughter's friends and others tried to revive the 17-year-old but that medical attention did not save her.

"We believe that her heart gave out," Aronson said.

Emma was described by her father as athletic and that she had recently been on her school's varsity basketball team.

"She was a tomboy at heart and hung out with the boys and gave them a run for her money," he told ABC News.

An autopsy has been scheduled with the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office to determine a cause of death. Dr. Sahil Parikh, a cardiologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute in Cleveland, stated that sudden death in teens is extremely rare, but can be traced back to cardiac issues including pumping function of the heart or artery blockages.

"There are patients born with a wiring problem and [others] born with predisposition of arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)," Parikh told ABC News. Parikh, who didn't treat Aronson, says that it makes sense to screen young athletes for heart disease if there has been a history of cardiac abnormalities in the family.

"In the absence of family history, we're left with doing usual which is a medical history and having a history of any kind of chest pains or fainting spells or blood pressure problems to look for obvious abnormalities," Parikh told ABC News.

Emma's family has been turning to religion in the days since the teenager passed away.

"I believe God needed her more up there than down here," Laura Aronson, Emma's mother, told ABC affiliate KMBC. "My faith is the only thing that is going to get me through this as a mother."

The family also said that Emma was an organ donor and that teen's gift could go on to save or improve the lives of 50 people.
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