A middle school student's mother is suing her school district. She claims a PE coach crossed the line, prompting a hospital stay, months of muscle pain and possibly the end of her daughter's promising soccer future.
Thirteen-year-old Alyssa White had dreams of playing soccer in college. The eighth grader was goalie and captain of her select team.
"It was something I was committed to. It was one of my main priorities," she said.
But she began feeling sick last December after a PE class at Ferguson Junior High.
She said as punishment for other students being late, her class was instructed to do sprints, pushups and more than 100 explosions, or jumps from a squatting position into the air.
"I just felt something not right in my legs. I was having an unusual pain," Alyssa said.
"Seeing her just on the floor, seeing her bent over literally in tears in pain not able to bend her legs and not able to sit in the car correctly was very, very scary," said Sharri White, Alyssa's mother.
White said Alyssa should not have been included in the intense workout at all. At the time she was under doctors' orders to limit her physical activity because of chest swelling.
"There was a note on file at the school," she said.
But her daughter is a good student and followed her teacher's orders, she said.
Alyssa was hospitalized two days later.
"That's when we were seeing blood in her urine," White said. "You think, 'Did something break down internally? Is something happening with her organs?' It was terrifying for us."
"I couldn't do anything from getting out of bed to taking a shower," Alyssa said.
Doctors are certain the workout caused Alyssa's rhabdomyolysis, or severely damaged muscles. It's a problem that is unrelated to her original chest swelling.
An attorney for the Arlington school district said it takes health and safety seriously, but all kids have different reactions to exercise.
"One of the administrators came to the hospital to visit us and said, 'This is our fault. We own this. We are going to take care of it.'" White said.
The district acknowledged having the doctor's note, but White said little has happened since then.
Alyssa is still undergoing physical therapy and now the family is facing thousands in medical bills despite having insurance.
"At the very least there should be responsibility for what she went through," White said. "Had we not caught it early enough her kidneys may have shut down. She could have gone on dialysis. It could have been fatal. It could have been a fatal event for her."
KDFW FOX 4
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