Jones, 18, who was a freshman at the University of Oregon and a member of the acrobatics and tumbling team, passed away unexpectedly Feb. 17 after requiring medical attention, according to the school. According to The Oregonian, the 2014 Southwest DeKalb High School graduate was transported to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Approximately 11 hours before her death, Jones had been transported by emergency responders to a local hospital, where she was treated for a high fever and released, according to a university spokeswoman.
More tests are needed to rule out meningococcemia, a bacterial infection that has sickened three other university students and was suspected in Jones’ death, according to The Oregonian.
Jones was member of Southwest DeKalb’s cheerleading and gymnastics team, and played in the band. She was the captain of the gymnastics team and was named the most valuable player her senior year. She was also MVP of the varsity cheerleading squad.
Southwest DeKalb Athletic Director Kathy Walton said Jones was more than a great athlete.
“She was very outgoing, everybody loved her,” Walton said. “She was probably one of the best to come through Southwest. I can’t think of a more outstanding student that has come through here.”
Walton said the school’s guidance counselors were handling grief counseling for students.
Jones was also captain of her club competitive cheerleading team, Cheertyme All-Stars in Decatur. She was also a member of the Ellenwood All-Stars Cheerleading and Tumbling. In a Facebook post, Ellenwood All-Stars said Jones “will be truly missed.”
“Please pray for Lauren Jones and her family as they face this challenge,” the post read.
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