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Class X girl drops dead on campus

16-year-old was under cardiac care: Uncle

Jamshedpur: A Class X student of Kerala Public School in Mango collapsed during recess and was pronounced brought dead in hospital on Tuesday.

Family sources said 16-year-old Ayusha Khan, a resident of Mango, was diagnosed with a heart disease earlier this year and was on leave for a month. She had rejoined school only last week.

Classmate Shagufta Perween said they were merely standing on the edge of the field and eating lunch from their tiffin boxes around 10.30am when Ayusha collapsed.

The school authorities were informed and the student was rushed to Daya Hospital and Research Centre in Azadnagar, 2km from campus, but she didn't make it.

Ayusha has left behind her mother and three younger siblings - two brothers and a sister - who study in the same school. The girl had lost her father, Dr Mujeeb Akhtar, to cancer last year.

Her uncle Shamim Khan said after she was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart compartment that affects the blood pumping mechanism) four months ago, cardiologist Dr Mandar Shah of Tata Main Hospital had been treating her.

"The school co-operated a lot. She was on leave for a month. She joined school because we thought her condition had improved. Destiny had other plans it seems," the bereaved uncle said.

Dr Shah confirmed that Ayusha had dilated cardiomyopathy. "Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle that makes it harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. In case of dilated cardiomyopathy, the main pumping chamber (the left ventricle) becomes enlarged. It can lead to heart failure," he said.

Although this type of cardiomyopathy can affect anyone, it occurs mostly in middle-aged people and is more likely to affect men. The most common cause is coronary artery disease or heart attack, which is often hereditary. Symptoms include breathlessness, swelling of feet, boated abdomen, fatigue, chest discomfort and dizziness.

"It is unfortunate that we lost her so early," Dr Shah said, but could not clarify immediately if the family had sought a fitness certificate from him before deciding to send her back to school.

School principal Alka Sinha said Ayusha was a good student. "We are taken aback. We still cannot believe that we have lost her," Sinha said.

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