Family members have been left stunned and devastated after a 31-year-old former college tennis star passed away from a sudden heart attack.
Lilly Kimbell, a 2014 graduate of the University of Georgia, died on Sunday after a massive heart attack cut off the oxygen to her brain for an extended period.
According to Clayton News Daily, Kimbell’s family was forced to make the heart-wrenching decision to take her off life support.
Family, friends, and former coaches were quick to offer their condolences in the wake of this unimaginable tragedy.
“We were stunned and heartbroken to learn of Lilly passing away,” lamented Georgia women’s tennis coach Jeff Wallace.
“I will always remember how she helped create a culture of excellence with her attitude and work ethic. Lilly was a fantastic teammate and was always smiling and laughing during practice and matches.
“She ranks as one of the most successful doubles players in Georgia tennis history. During the spring of her sophomore year, she went undefeated in doubles with Maho (Kowase), and their 22-match winning streak is still a school record. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family,” Wallace continued.
As mentioned by Wallace, Kimbell enjoyed quite a college tennis career.
The Texas native registered 197 wins, in both solo and doubles competitions and was an SEC All-Tournament team member in 2012 and 2014, as reported by Clayton News.
In a heartfelt Facebook post, Kimbell’s sister Samantha Gillas paid homage to her sibling and what she meant to her.
“Yesterday heaven gained another angel,” Gillas began.
“I really don’t know what to say. I am lost for words and in complete shock, but at the same time I have so much I could say. It all seems so surreal and I’m just waiting to wake up from this bad dream and I’ll see you coming downstairs.”
“Besides what you did on the court I looked up to you as a person. You had this ability to make everyone smile. Whenever we walked into the room you would be surrounded by people laughing and smiling. Everyone seemed to gravitate towards you,” Gillas remembered fondly.
“I’m still trying to process why God had this happen to you at 31 years old. I shouldn’t had to say goodbye to my sister at 22 years old. I love you so much Lilly. I know you’re looking down at us watching over.”
“You were so talented and loved by so many.”
Many unexplained deaths among young athletes have been occuring with startling regularity – and in nearly all cases without explanation or prior medical histories among the victims.
Former Detroit Lions and XFL linebacker Jessie Lemonier ‘died suddenly’ recently, the team confirmed. He was 25.
Jordan Brister, 17, a high school junior died on Jan. 3 when he experienced sudden cardiac arrest. He was found inside one of the school’s bathrooms after gym class.
Another student. Ashari Hughes, just 16, died during a flag football game at school, a “sudden cardiac death” just one day before Brister died.
And on January 10, Air Force Academy cadet Hunter Brown, 21 – a standout athlete on the Air Force football team – suddenly collapsed died after he collapsed while walking to class.
All four had been fully vaccinated and “boosted,” per NFL, school, and/or U.S. military requirements at the time.
And most recently, on January 31, 18-year-old Cartier Woods was playing basketball with his teammates at Northwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan. Just three minutes into a game against Detroit Douglass, Woods told his coach, George Tyson, that he wasn’t feeling well.
Rushed to the hospital after losing consciousness, Woods later died from what what called a “cardiac arrest.”
Cartier, who was in his 3rd year in the basketball program, would have required 2 Covid shots and one booster when he joined the team two year ago. However, neither his doctor nor family have commented on any potential issues related to his vaccination status.