A suburban Atlanta family has been buried under a horrific avalanche of medical bills after their honor roll daughter mysteriously falls ill and dies after a seemingly innocent swimming outing at a public water venue.
Laterrika Freeman, 14, of Cobb County, was a rising freshman who planned on playing basketball at McEachern High School this coming year and a gifted student and Girl Scout. She contracted a bacterial infection that began eating at her lungs after that swim, but had gone undetected. She died six weeks later.
Compounding the surviving family’s devastation is the fact that the medical procedures that tried in vain to diagnose the source of Freeman’s mysterious illness — and treat it — leaves the family unable to pay the astronomical hospital costs nor the price tag to bury their beloved daughter.
The parents of three other young children held a fundraiser selling T-shirts, ribbons and balloons to raise money to help pay their mounting bills, attracting about 200 people, according to .
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.