Updated: 12:31 p.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014 | Posted: 8:55 p.m. Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cobb teen falls ill, dies after swimming outing

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Laterrika Freeman  photo
Laterrika Freeman
Laterrika Freeman family photo
The family of Laterrika Freeman, a promising athlete at McEachern High School, says she died after a clot in her lungs.
Laterrika Freeman, 14  photo
Laterrika Freeman, 14

By Liz Artz

COBB COUNTY, Ga. —

The family of a 14-year-old Cobb County girl is raising money to pay for medical bills after the rising freshman became ill and died six weeks later.

Laterrika Freeman was excited about playing basketball at McEachern High School next year. Freeman, a promising athlete, honor roll student and Girl Scout, was the apple of her family’s eye.

Freeman’s family says she fell ill immediately following a summer outing to a public water venue. They told Channel 2’s Liz Artz doctors could not figure out what was sickening the teen. But they eventually discovered a bacterial infection that was eating away at her lungs. Freeman died last Friday after her family says a clot in her lungs went unnoticed.

Her parents, who have three young children, told Artz their medical bills and funeral bills are more than they can handle. On Thursday night, the family held a fundraiser selling T-shirts, ribbons and balloons to raise money to help pay their mounting bills.

About 200 people came out in support and let balloons go in her honor as part of the fundraiser. The family is still awaiting Freeman’s autopsy to get an exact cause of death. They’re trying to pinpoint what made the typically healthy teen so sick.

Freeman's viewing is set for Friday, July 25 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Willie Watkins Funeral Home in Atlanta. Her funeral is Saturday, July 26 at 1 p.m. at Zion Baptist Church in Marietta.

Freeman’s parents have set up a memorial fund at Wells Fargo bank. People interested in donating can submit them at any Wells Fargo location under the Laterrika Freeman Memorial Fund. Donations can also be made online. Click here to make donations online.

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