Norton community rallies around cheerleader in medically induced coma

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NORTON, Ohio - A Norton High School cheerleader remains in a medically induced coma after her mother says she suffered an asthma attack and allergic reaction which then led to cardiac arrest.

16-year-old Emma Pfouts' mother Christina Weigand describes her daughter as a lively cheerleader who is a light in their family.

"No mother wants to see their child like that, I mean we feel helpless. There's nothing we can do," said Weigand.

During the homecoming dance nearly two weeks ago Weigand says her daughter, who has asthma in addition to food allergies to chicken and eggs, had an unexplained reaction during the festivities.

Weigand says they received a call from school officials who also called first responders about Emma's condition.

"She had asthma and it was acting up on her and she also had an allergic reaction so the two combined just caused her to become unresponsive," said Weigand.

Her family says the series of health issues resulted in cardiac arrest.

"We want her to wake up," said Chris Weigand, Emma's stepfather. "We're hoping for her to wake up. We're praying for her to wake up but it's this lack of oxygen to the brain that is a big unknown."

Emma's family says they want to thank the entire community for the incredible support.

Chris Weigand says residents have been kind enough to even mow his lawn while he and Emma's mother wait at Akron Children's Hospital. The community also created numerous #EmmaStrong fundraisers to help with medical expenses.

The Weigands plan to attend the Norton football game Friday night to thank everyone in person for all of the support and hope to see Emma smiling and cheering again soon.

A GoFundMe Account has been created to support Emma and her family.

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