Health

Death of 18-Year-Old Girl Blamed On Bacterial Meningitis

| by Karen Eisenberg
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Virginia Broad Run High School senior, Madison Small, 18, tragically died Tuesday after suffering from severe headache pain.

Newly-released information indicates that the cause of death of the varsity softball player is attributed to bacterial meningitis. How Madison contracted the infection is unknown.

Madison’s father, Tim Small, said he played catch with his daughter on Sunday and she seemed to be in perfect health. But by Monday night, Madison was rushed to the hospital.

Devan Rook, 18, a classmate of Small, said, “She went to urgent care in the afternoon, and they sent her home — didn’t think anything was wrong with her.”

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"In the middle of the night, she woke up complaining of headaches and stuff, and they took her to [Inova] Loudoun Hospital and realized it was pretty serious," Rook said, as reported by the Washington Post. "They couldn’t handle it there, so they medevac-ed her over to [Inova Fairfax Hospital]. At that point, she wasn’t doing too well, and several of her organs were shutting down.” 

Madison passed away on Tuesday morning.

Principal Dave Spage sent an email to parents of Broad Run High School, which read, “I am writing to inform you one of our students, Madison Small, became fatally ill this morning. We have been informing students and staff and offering our support to them, as well as her family, and our community. Crisis intervention counselors are in place at the school, and will remain as long as needed.”

Madison is greatly missed. Teacher Lynn Davies said: “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,” according to NY Daily News.

At a vigil in her honor, her father, Tim Small, told the crowd: “Life can be short, we found that out today. Make the most of it. Love each other. Don’t get bogged down in the little nitpicky crap. Put that aside. Life’s too short.”

Sources: Washington Post, NY Daily News

Photo: NBC Washington