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'We love you Emma!' — Norton 'roars' for cheerleader in coma

Posted: 5:43 PM, Nov 01, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-01 19:27:47-04
Emma Pfouts.jpeg

NORTON, Ohio — Hundreds of Norton High School students filed into the gymnasium Friday morning wearing teal "WE ROAR WITH EMMA" t-shirts. Teal is the favorite color of 16-year-old Emma Pfouts, a cheerleader who remains in critical condition at Akron Children's Hospital.

The students sat in the middle of the stands and yelled, "We love you Emma!"

The tribute was recorded by the school's principal who sent the video to Emma's mother, Christina Weigand.

Weigand posted the video on her Facebook page and wrote "Norton High School administration and students, THANK YOU FOR THIS!!"

To show additional support for Emma and her family, students made dozens of signs which are hanging inside the stadium for Friday's football game against Field.

Just before kickoff, Emma's mom and stepfather, Chris Weigand, spoke to the crowd to thank the community for its support.

'We love you Emma!' — Norton 'roars' for cheerleader in coma

Mollie Carneal, 16, is Emma's best friend and a fellow cheerleader. She said Emma never takes anything for granted, always goes full out and makes life so much fun.

"I kind of would be lost without her. She's kind of like my everything," Carneal said. "But I know she's there still so that's all that matters."

Two weeks ago, Emma struggled with her breathing while at the high school homecoming dance.

She went outside to get her inhaler from her car, but stopped breathing on her way back towards the building. Rescue crews performed CPR and she nearly died.

The teen remains in a medically-induced coma at Akron Children's Hospital. Doctors have told the family that Emma will have brain damage.

According to the family, Emma suffered a severe asthma attack and a potential allergic reaction to something. Emma has allergies to eggs and chicken, but it's not clear if she came into contact with those foods that night.

"She may have had an allergic component or may have been complicated by a potential allergic reaction, but the crux of her respiratory illness was her asthma," Christian Weigand said.

Collin Lucas, another one of Emma's close friends, is continuing to ask the community for prayers.

"I think that's really important. I think they should be praying everyday. I know I do because she needs it more than anyone right now," Lucas said. "She's just special to everybody around here."

There are several fundraisers happening to support Emma's family. One of them is taking place at Van's Auto Service on Friday and Saturday. The owner, Joshua Baughman, is promising to match every donation made up to $500.

"To see such a small community make such a big difference in Emma's health and the prayers that people are sending is honestly incredible to me," Carneal said.

Norton cheerleader Emma Pfouts
A sign at Norton High School supporting Emma.

Carneal said it will be very emotional cheering on the sidelines without her best friend by her side, but knowing many people will be roaring with Emma will make a huge difference.

"I just keep praying and keep hoping that she's gonna get better because it's definitely helping."

A GoFundMe account has also been set up to help Emma and her family. You can learn more about supporting Emma by clicking here.

RELATED: 'We roar with Emma' — Norton cheerleader, 16, fighting for her life after falling ill at homecoming