Teenager collapses and dies at school - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teenager collapses and dies at school

Marquita Adams and her mother in 1999 Marquita Adams and her mother in 1999
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February 19, 2004

Albany-- The student who died is 14-year-old Marquita Adams, a brave girl who's been in the news before.

Marquita had a heart transplant five years ago. But today, while changing classes at Westover, she began having trouble breathing. She collapsed and moments later she was dead.

Sixteen-year-old Heather Wiley is trained to counsel students. They just heard the terrible news that Marquita Adams collapsed and died in the hallway. "She stopped breathing and she was on the floor," she says.

In 1999, we introduced you to Marquita when she was a fifth grader at Sylvester Road Elementary School. She needed a heart transplant and South Georgia schools helped raise money to pay for it.

By 2000, the little girl came back home with a new heart. Here's what she had to say: "I'm really glad, I just want to see my family and friends."

She became a face for the American Heart Association. Five years later, after all the struggles and triumphs, Marquita's life has ended. Something these high school students may never understand. "Life can be long, life can also be short. It doesn't matter how old you are, they just have to be strong," Wiley says.

Our condolences to Marquita's family who struggled to keep her healthy. Counselors encourage parents to let their children talk about their feelings. Also, watch for signs of depression and withdrawal

posted at 4:05PM by dave.miller@walb.com