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Briahna Gerloff, 18, of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, collapsed after shoveling snow outside her home, after a winter storm dumped snow across the east coast Friday and Saturday.
Despite being told by a family member that it wasn't a good idea to shovel while pregnant, Gerloff wanted to do it anyway. The teen reportedly had several heart defects, which may have contributed to her collapse and while authorities are not linking her death to shoveling thus far, it may have been a contributing factor, given her heart problems. The teen had Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, "a disorder caused by an abnormal accessory electrical conduction pathway between the atria and the ventricles," according to a report from Philadelphia's NBC news affiliate.
A family member went across the street to take a break from shoveling, and Gerloff went back inside. When he returned from across the street, the front door to the home was locked and he entered through a basement door. He told the local news that he went upstairs, yelling her name and looking for her, but got no response. He found her unresponsive on the kitchen floor and began CPR, assisted by a neighbor. An ambulance arrived, but sadly, they were too late.
Gerloff was pregnant with a baby girl whom she planned to name Kayliana. Both Gerloff and her unborn daughter were pronounced dead at the scene after unsuccessful CPR attempts.
Briahna Gerloff's mother died almost three years ago, according to a childhood friend of Gerloff's, who set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral expenses for Briahna and Kayliana.
On January 22, before the storm hit the East Coast at full force, the American Heart Association shared reminders on social media about the increased risk of heart attack from heavy exertion, such as shoveling, in cold weather conditions.
Know these safety tips and take care, especially if you're pregnant: