18-Year-Old Dies Weeks After Collapsing During Her High School Graduation

Sienna Stewart is remembered as someone who filled the room "with sweet warm respectful energy"

<p>West Cobb Funeral Home</p> Sienna Stewart

West Cobb Funeral Home

Sienna Stewart

An 18-year-old from Georgia died nearly three weeks after collapsing during her high school graduation.

Sienna Stewart was diagnosed with heart failure last April years after receiving a transplant. She had been diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy at age 4 and began "getting sick," her mother, Saevon Chum, told FOX 5 Atlanta.

After the transplant that allowed her to live a "relatively normal life for 10 years," began "getting weak and slowing down," Sienna began experiencing instances where she would collapse, including at her Thursday, May 23 graduation ceremony, and then again two weeks later," Chum explained.

Stewart died Wednesday, June 12, just weeks after receiving her diploma.

"It was a scary moment at graduation, but she was a tough cookie ever since she was little. She was just so tough. She was just strength and resilience, she was just so strong," Chum recalled tearfully.

<p>West Cobb Funeral Home</p> Sienna Stewart

West Cobb Funeral Home

Sienna Stewart

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A video of the Hiram High School commencement ceremony posted by the school on YouTube showed Sienna's collapse took place shortly after the event began. A school official is seen walking up to a mic asking the crowd to "give us a second" while another calls out for Chum.

Sienna eventually regained consciousness and asked her mother to let her walk across the stage. She was the last graduate to cross the stage to a huge round of applause.

"All she could tell me is, ‘I just want to graduate, I want to walk.' That's all she wanted, because she already missed her prom, because before then she was in the hospital and missed her senior prom," Chum recalled.

<p>Getty</p> stock image of a graduation cap


stock image of a graduation cap

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Seeing her daughter reach that milestone makes Chum proud to this day.

"As a mom, you feel so proud because she just fought through something that hurts her. You have to be proud. Till the end, I was proud," she said.

According to her obituary, Stewart had her eyes set on college and was on track to study sonogram tech in the fall.

<p>GoFundMe</p> Sienna Stewart


Sienna Stewart

She was remembered as someone whose "presence alone is contagious, her laugh, smile, her unexpected jokes, and dark humor make you fall off your seat."

"She fill the room with sweet warm respectful energy, her upbeat enthused tone of voice that uplifts your spirits instantly. Sienna fashion sensibility is unmatched, always looking so amazing every where she goes. Everyone that knows her know this," the obituary adds.

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A GoFundMe has been set up in support of her family. As of this writing, it has accumulated over 190 donations and raised over $8,500.

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