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Family and friends mourn popular Boonsboro High School athlete

Michaela Grove 'was just a good kid that didn't follow the crowd, and people liked that'

July 24, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • Friends and family are mourning Boonsboro High School soccer player Michaela Grove after she collapsed at a camp in Mercersburg, Pa., on Monday evening.
Photo courtesy of Brenda Grove

Family members and friends of a popular Boonsboro High School athlete are mourning her death after she collapsed at a camp in Mercersburg, Pa., on Monday evening.

Michaela Grove’s mother, Brenda Grove, said she believes her 16-year-old daughter was involved in a tug-of-war competition at Camp Tohiglo when she fell to the ground in cardiac arrest.

Michaela was taken to Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown, but she could not be revived, according to her mother.

David Jones, director of coaching for the Locomotive FC soccer club for which Michaela played, was among those reeling from the teen’s death.

High school students often face various challenges but are outstanding athletes, but Michaela had it all together, Jones said.

Her soccer abilities were becoming so impressive that Michaela — who had just finished her sophomore year at Boonsboro High — was already gaining attention from college soccer coaches, he said.

People interviewed about her Wednesday said Michaela was the kind of person parents would want their kids to grow up to be.

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Her death also reminded Jones of other recent tragedies involving area high school students.

Quinn Hoover, a Washington County Technical High School student who died in a car accident on National Pike east of Clear Spring in March of last year, and Brendon Edward Colliflower and Samantha Rae Kelly, two Williamsport High School seniors who were killed in a crash on Rench Road after returning from their high school prom in May of last year, were all good kids who came from good families just like Michaela, Jones said.

“It’s just a tragic story,” he said.

At Boonsboro High, Michaela was a member of the 2012 and 2013 indoor track state championship teams, and a member of the 2013 outdoor track state championship team. She also played two years of varsity soccer, was named second-team All-County in 2012 and was on the distinguished honor roll.

Camp Tohiglo, founded in 1979, is owned and operated by the Fellowship of Bible Churches.

Michaela served as a counselor there for the last two years, according to Dale Carver, pastor of Hagerstown Bible Church on Summit Avenue, which Michaela attended.

Michaela had said Jesus Christ changed her life, and she wanted to demonstrate that by being a counselor at the camp, where some of the children come from broken homes, Carver said.

She was junior counselor to a group of youths in a cabin, Carver said.

On Sunday at about 7 p.m., Michaela was running with a group of children when she collapsed in cardiac arrest, Brenda Grove said. A camp nurse started CPR on Michaela, and she was taken to Meritus Medical Center, she said.

Doctors at Meritus Medical Center ran a variety of tests on her, including blood work and an electrocardiogram, and everything looked fine, her mother said.

Michaela went home that night and slept in the next morning. She woke up and wanted chocolate-chip pancakes, Grove said.

She and her husband, Mike, took Michaela back to Camp Tohiglo on Monday at about 5 p.m., Grove said.

Grove said she thinks Michaela was playing tug-o-war with children at the camp Monday when she collapsed again in a cardiac arrest.

A nurse at the camp began administering CPR and continued to do so on the ambulance until the staff at Meritus Medical Center took over, Carver said.

Brenda Grove said she and her husband went to the hospital.

 “I actually saw them doing chest compressions on my daughter. That was hard,” Grove said.
 

She said the hospital staff worked on Michaela for 1 1/2 hours.

“There was no hope,” she said.
 

She was not able to talk to Michaela after she collapsed on Monday, but Grove said she asked her if she felt pain in her chest on Sunday.

Michaela said she did not, and all she knew is that things “went black,” Grove said.

Grove said she thinks her daughter’s death was the result of a heart complication, but she has not learned anything specific from doctors.

Michaela had passed out two other times when she was younger, but those episodes had never resulted in cardiac arrest, she said. Doctors told her that those fainting episodes were typical for a teenage girl.

Fund-raiser started 

Meanwhile, a decision has been made to raise money to pay for a reception in honor of Michaela, Jones said.

Through the Community Foundation of Washington County, people can donate money at http://washingtoncountygives.razoo.com/story/Support-Michaela-Grove-S-Family.

Leftover money will be used to establish a scholarship in Michaela’s name, he said.

As of 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 34 donors had gone to the site and pledged to give $1,895.

At the Locomotive FC website Wednesday, the No. 8 showed up in a grey shaded box. Eight was Michaela’s number in the club.

And at Boonsboro High School’s soccer field Tuesday night, between 200 and 300 people gathered to pay tribute to Michaela.

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