Reporting Esme Murphy
ST. MICHAEL, Minn. (WCCO) -– Sixteen-year-old Michaela Olson died while jogging yesterday. While autopsy results are not yet known, her family believes her death is most likely not related to heat, but rather to a breathing disorder Michaela had suffered from.
Michaela’s family says for the past three years she had received numerous different diagnoses for a breathing disorder, with experts telling the family it was everything from asthma to a vocal cord problem.
The breathing problem had forced Michaela to give up soccer, a sport she loved. But lately she had been working out regularly with the hope of one day playing again.
Michaela’s father, DuWayne Olson, is reeling from the tragic loss.
“For this to happen it’s just an absolute shock,” he said.
DuWayne says faith is sustaining him and other family members.
“I am grievingly upset and distraught and I don’t know what I am going to do tomorrow,” he said.
Michaela collapsed on this running trail just blocks from the family’s home, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday. Michaela had recently earned her driver’s license and signed up to be an organ donor.
“Though she lived her life to the fullest, she is helping other live theirs as well,” said DuWayne.
Michaela loved horseback riding and was also a gifted singer. But she may be best remembered for the love she brought to her role as babysitter to neighborhood kids including those of Holly Saville.
“She is just a beautiful, beautiful soul. She is so good with kids. She took care of our kids and a lot of the kids in the neighborhood. And always smiling always happy,” she said.
Her family is hoping the autopsy will provide answers so that other families might learn from her death.