Report: 7-year-old who died at cheer camp had heart defect

  • Kate Babich

    Kate Babich

Updated 8/8/2016 8:51 PM

The 7-year-old Park Ridge girl who died during cheerleading camp in June at Maine South High School had a congenital heart defect, according to the Cook County medical examiner's report released Monday.

Katherine "Kate" Babich, who had just finished first grade at Field Elementary School, had a disorder known as Ebstein's anomaly, the report said.


Ebstein's anomaly is a malformed heart valve that does not properly close to keep the blood flowing in the right direction, according to The American Heart Association.

Her cause of death was listed as "natural."

While at camp June 27, Babich started having trouble breathing and collapsed, according to Park Ridge police. She was taken to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Following her death, purple ribbons were hung all over Park Ridge in her memory. Purple was her favorite color.

The remainder of the camp was canceled and grief counselors were brought in to help her friends, their parents and coaches.

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