Thatcher elementary track participant deceased after passing out during practice

Julie Hancock, 11, was pronounced deceased Friday morning at a Tucson hospital.

Girl diagnosed with genetic heart condition

By Jon Johnson

THATCHER – A community is in mourning Friday as a beloved 11-year-old Thatcher athlete died after suffering heart failure while running during track practice Tuesday.

Despite the quick action of coaches and first responders, 11-year-old Julie Hancock, of Thatcher, succumbed to her injury at a Tucson hospital Friday. 

Hancock was participating in Thatcher Middle School track practice Tuesday afternoon when she suddenly lost consciousness. The 6th-grade students are allowed to participate with the middle school track team because Bonita has a track meet in which just the 6th-graders compete, according to a parent of another 6th-grade athlete. 

In addition to track, Hancock loved basketball and was an accomplished gymnast.

Thatcher Police Chief Shaffen Woods told the Gila Herald that coaches performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on Hancock prior to the arrival of paramedics. She was then transported to Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center before being flown to Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, Diamond Children’s Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased Friday. 

At the hospital, it was learned that Hancock suffered from a genetic heart condition that likely surfaced while running. 

A fundraiser has been set up in Julie’s name to help her family with medical expenses. Donate to the fundraiser by clicking here.

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