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Girl dies after collapsing at Disney park - Orlando Sentinel, 8/4/05


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  • Girl dies after collapsing at Disney park - Orlando Sentinel, 8/4/05

    A 12-year-old girl died Thursday evening after passing out at the wave pool at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon, marking the third time in three months that a young person has suddenly fallen critically ill while visiting Walt Disney World.

    The girl was sitting by herself on one of the simulated islands that dot the water park's wave pool about 6 p.m. when a lifeguard approached her to check on her, said Crystal Candy, a spokeswoman with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

    The child, who was visiting with cousins and an aunt from Newport News, Va., told the lifeguard she was fine and asked to be left alone. But when she stood up, she immediately passed out and the lifeguard signaled for help.

    Employees dialed 911 and monitored the girl's vital signs, Disney spokeswoman Kim Prunty said.

    The girl's pulse stopped and she stopped breathing, so lifeguards began cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    But it was too late.

    Reedy Creek Fire Rescue transported the girl to Florida Hospital Celebration Health, where she was pronounced dead, Candy said.

    "It is mysterious," Candy said. She would not identify the girl pending notification of her parents, who were not on the trip. The girl was out of the water when she fell ill.

    Bo Jones, a spokesman for Reedy Creek Fire Rescue, called the incident "baffling."

    Officials did not know what the girl was doing before lifeguards approached her. Family members, who were nearby when the lifeguard first approached her, told deputies the 12-year-old has no known medical conditions.

    Jones said paramedics followed established procedures in their attempts to revive the girl.

    Thursday's incident is the third sudden critical illness of a young person visiting Walt Disney World in three months. It is the second fatality.

    On June 13, Daudi Bamuwamye, 4, of Pennsylvania collapsed on Epcot's Mission: Space ride and later died. Inspections showed no signs of ride malfunction, and investigators are awaiting results of an Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner's report.

    On July 12, Leanne Deacon, 16, of Kibworth, England, suffered cardiac arrest shortly after exiting Disney-MGM Studio's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror thrill ride. A CT scan after her collapse showed she was bleeding in her brain.

    Although Leanne complained of leg cramps and headaches before her collapse, her mother, June Deacon, told deputies that she too had no known medical conditions.

    Leanne remained in critical condition Thursday at Florida Hospital Orlando. Family members have not disclosed further information.
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