A 16-year-old Leesburg girl died Friday shortly after being diagnosed with the flu.
Katie Giovanniello was a sophomore at Heritage High School in Leesburg before passing away from what her family believes were complications from the flu, according to media reports.
Heritage Principal Jeff Adam announced the death in a statement to the school community. “Katie passed away unexpectedly this morning. As many of you no doubt are, I am deeply saddened by this news,” he said Friday.
The school has counselors available to students, and several upcoming extracurricular activities have been cancelled.
“She was so special that everyone loved her,” Colette Giovanniello, Katie's mother, told NBC 4 in Washington on Monday. "No matter where you were, she became a part of your family."
A GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral costs had raised more than $11,900 by Tuesday morning.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated medical examiners were performing an autopsy on Katie Giovanniello.