Northeast Tarrant

Southlake swimmer, 13, dies after being pulled from pool during practice

mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

A 13-year-old swim team member died Monday after she was pulled from the pool at the Carroll school district Aquatics Center.

Elise Cerami, who was in the advanced North Texas Nadadores club, had just finished warmups about 6:45 a.m. when people around the pool realized she was underwater, according to Julie Thannum, a Carroll spokeswoman.

She was pulled from the pool, and staff members, including coach Bill Christensen, administered CPR while awaiting paramedics.

Elise, a member of the Nadadores Navy Elite team, was transported to Baylor Regional Medical Center and then Cook Children’s Medical Center, where she died at 1:04 p.m., the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office reported.

The cause of her death had not be reported by Monday evening.

Elise would have been a Carroll High School freshman this fall.

Just after Elise was taken away in an ambulance, Christensen began to show symptoms of a heart attack and was hospitalized, Thannum said. He was in good condition after surgery Monday evening, she said.

Through Thannum, Elise’s family released a statement saying that swimming was what Elise “loved to do, what she was passionate about.”

“The support has just been overwhelming,” her father, David Cerami, said in the statement. “We send our best wishes to Coach Bill for a full recovery, and thank him, all the other students and staff who helped respond and do everything they could to try to help and save Elise."

Carroll Superintendent David Faltys included a statement, saying the district is “heartbroken as we mourn the loss of this child.”

“This is the worst kind of news you hear as a parent and educator,” Faltys said.

School district counselors will be available for students and coaches. The aquatics center was closed for the rest of Monday and Tuesday, and a summer meet Wednesday has been canceled.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST

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