16-year-old Lombard cheerleader dies suddenly on vacation

The family of a 16-year-old cheerleader from Lombard are mourning her death after she died suddenly while on a vacation.

They now want answers as to what exactly caused her death.

Lija Hyssong got sick while vacationing in Pennsylvania.

Her family said she started feeling sick as she prepared to leave for her trip.

She had just participated in a week long overnight youth group mission project sponsored by the church her family attended, St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church.

She taught vacation bible school on the trip.

Lija went to Pennsylvania to meet with her China sisters — a group made up of eight families who traveled together to China in 1999 to adopt eight girls.

Lija was one of the eight girls who were brought back to the U.S.

The families reunite every two years and even though her parents couldn’t join her this year, Lija convinced them to let her go on the trip even though she wasn’t feeling well.

Her father said he received a text from Lija while she was there saying, “Having an awesome time, Love you Dad.”

That was the last text he got from her.

During the next few days, Lija got sick again with stomach flu-like symptoms.

She went into full cardiac arrest and was taken to the hospital where her family rushed to her side.

Lija never regained consciousness.

She passed away on July 3rd.

Lija would have been a sophomore at Glenbard East High School in the fall.

She participated in gymnastics and was a member of the cheer-leading squad.

Her family and friends are remembering her as someone who made a big impact with the small things she did to make the lives of others better.

Lija leaves behind her parents, 13-year-old sister Zoe, family and friends.

Autopsy results were inconclusive, although her father says additional tests are being done.

Her funeral will be held tomorrow in Lombard.

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