An eighth at the Milton Hershey School in Dauphin County died after a sudden cardiac arrest, becoming the second student in the Harrisburg area within two weeks to die from the syndrome.
Daron Lewis Godbee, 13, was shot in school, according to his obituary. He was a native of the Hershey area and involved in activities including cross country, track, swimming, band and choir.
"We are devastated by the death of a beloved member of the Milton Hershey School community," the school said in a statement.
The school said its family donated its organs to the Gift of Life program to be given to one or more people in need of organ transplants.
"Daron's kindness and generous spirit will live through the lives of others … He will miss his friends, teachers, parents, coaches and all those who know him deeply," the school said. Milton Hershey, a boarding school for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, has about 2,100 students in pre-k grades through high school.
Jonathan Kuhn, 16, a student and basketball player at Big Spring High School, died a few days after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest on February 28th.
Sudden cardiac arrest occurs when the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. It affects about 360,000 people in the United States, with about 90% of them dying, according to the American Heart Association.
The association has estimated that about 7,000 people aged 18 or under are affected by sudden cardiac arrest, with only about 11% surviving.
It is often caused by a previously unknown heart disorder; people often show no symptoms before being affected. In many cases, such disorders can only be detected through the electrocardiogram, which is not part of the normal and physical controls for young people. However, heart problems among relatives are known as a risk factor.
Such deaths in previously healthy children, often athletes, are particularly heartbreaking and often receive news.
Although considered a public health problem worthy of detection and prevention, medical experts believe that sudden cardiac death is rare and is not among the leading causes of death among young people.
Private organizations often collect money, promote and provide electrocardiograms for young people.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the top three causes of death for children five to 14 are accidents, cancer and suicide.
Milton Hershey said he is providing counseling and counseling for students and staff. A memorial service will be held on Sunday at school. Godbee's family said, rather than sending flowers, people should donate to a favorite charity or Cocoa Packs Inc., P.O. Box 613, Hershey, Pa., 17033.