Family and friends need to know teen's cause of death for closure
TABOR CITY, NC (WECT) - It could be months before the family of a South Columbus High School student knows what led to the teen's unexpected death.
Jaqwan Cephus McGill collapsed at a convenience store in North Myrtle Beach late Sunday night and was pronounced dead soon after, according to his mother, Shelvy McGill.
"It's like someone reaching inside of your chest and tearing your heart out," said Cephus's step father Jeffrey Daniels.
Cephus was just 16 years old and a running back for the Stallions' varsity football team. Shelvy said Cephus was in South Carolina celebrating "prom weekend" with his friends and family.
"I said 'Mama loves you' and he said 'I love you too.' And he said 'bye' and I said 'bye,' and then that was it," Shelvy said about her last conversation with her son the day he died.
She said Cephus told friends he felt dizzy before collapsing, and earlier that day, he reportedly had trouble getting out of a pool, having to take a moment to rest once he was out of the water.
Ever since they received the news that Cephus had died, his family has been in a state of shock.
"When it finally does hit me...I don't know what to expect. He's my baby boy," Shelvy said.
Shelvy said her son had no major medical issues that would explain his unexpected death. She said officials also don't know what killed the Tabor City teen. It will reportedly take up to 12 weeks before a final autopsy report is available.
"Until then we cant even began to try to move on..we just need to know what happened to him," Daniels said.
A funeral will be held Sunday at 2:30 p.m. at the Deliverance Prayer Temple in Loris, SC, according to Westside Funeral Home.
Shelvy said Cephus's teammates will carry his casket and follow him into the church, while wearing their football jerseys.
They've taken the news of Cephus's death just as hard as the family.
"It was a wake up call," Quinlan Hammond said. "We all need to grow closer to God because, I mean, life could be taken from us at any second."
Friends and family gathered at Shelvy's home this week to mourn, many of them wrapping their arms around her to show their support.
"I couldn't believe it at first," Dashaun Daniels said. "Later that night it just hit me. That's when I started crying and stuff and I cried myself to sleep that night and I woke up crying. I just couldn't believe it."
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