Teen tragedy rocks family – QNS.com

Teen tragedy rocks family

The father of the 16-year-old Arverne girl who collapsed and died during gym class last week remembered his daughter as an eighth grader singing in Carnegie Hall. &#8220I miss her very much,” Elue Palmer said softly, after describing his daughter Schermiela’s performance with the Brooklyn Borough-Wide Chorus for Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2004.
Schermiela, who celebrated her birthday on June 21, also sang with the Liberty Hall Church of God in Flatbush, Brooklyn and had been on the honor roll at Beach Channel High School in 2005 after the family moved to the area two years earlier.
&#8220She’s a fantastic young woman,” Elue said. &#8220Everybody loves her.”
On Wednesday, September 13, Schermiela collapsed while cooling down during gym class after trying to run a lap around Beach Channel High School in Rockaway Park in under three minutes, 10 seconds.
After her gym teacher performed CPR, Schermiela was rushed to Peninsula Hospital, where she died at 11:55 a.m.
The Palmers have said that their daughter, though overweight, never had any health problems.
However, according to the medical examiner’s office the cause of Schermiela’s death was cardiac arrhythmia due to a mitral valve prolapse.
&#8220We’ll be talking more about what happened at the school afterward,” said Schermiela’s half sister, Pittershawn Palmer, 39, who said that she, Schermiela, and half-sister, Scherrie, 20, had been very close.
Pittershawn, who drove to the Rockaways on Thursday morning from her home in the Poconos, PA said that the family has been talking with a student who was with Schermiela from the moment that she collapsed until the ambulance took her away.
&#8220We want to ensure that we know all of the information before we say anything,” Pittershawn said. &#8220We want to forgo making any comment about the school.”
Pittershawn also said that the family was still arranging for Schermiela’s wake and funeral.
Since Wednesday, neighbors and friends have offered an outpouring of support for the family, stopping by their home in Arverne on Beach 63rd Street with food and memories of the vibrant girl, who just months ago celebrated her Sweet 16. Friends of Schermiela even created a private MySpace page in her memory.
&#8220She loved to laugh. She loved to make jokes,” Pittershawn said. &#8220She was always happy.”
In August, Schermiela and her parents had spent a weekend in the Poconos, and Pittershawn remembered tickling her younger sister, who was overcome on the floor in fits of laughter.
&#8220Even when we got into fights, it would be done in a hot second because [Schermiela] could never stay upset too long,” Pittershawn said, adding that her own daughter, Aviance, 16, was devastated when she had heard what had happened to her aunt, Schermiela.
Schermiela’s sister, Scherrie, an education major at Long Island University, also remembered her sister as a bubbly jokester, the baby of the family, who aspired to be a lawyer and was very good at math.
Schermiela’s parents, Elue and Paulette, are heartbroken by the loss, their daughters said.
&#8220How well can you do under these conditions?” Pittershawn said, when asked about her stepmother, who has tried to continuously occupy herself with busy work to not let the reality of her loss set in.
&#8220Because I am a mother myself, I can’t tell her to stop,” Pittershawn said. &#8220That must be the worst feeling in the world.”

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