Parents of Cross Country Runner Who Suddenly Died Set Up #runfordylan to Remember the Teen

Dylan Dorrell died last month from a sudden cardiac arrest

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The parents of a Denton teen who suddenly passed away last month are using their hurt to help others.

Dylan Dorrell,17, was about to start his senior year at Guyer High School in Denton. He was known for his love of life, drawing, coding and animation. He also liked the color green, was a huge Star Wars fan, liked Dragon Ball Z and the Broadway play Hamilton.

"We always say he marched to the beat of his own drum, he didn't care what others thought of him," said Lisa Dorrell, Dylan's mother.

She said her son developed a passion for running when he was five-years-old. The two participated in a 5K on Mother's Day.

He would later join cross country and his parent say it was a perfect fit for him.

"He wasn't a big team sport player, but he knew if he could compete by himself, he could beat his own time and he liked competing against himself," his mother said.

"Running was something he was going to be able to continue to do for the entirety of his life. He always told us you know running and going for walks at night, were his way of clearing his mind, you know, allowing him to kind of reset," said Gus Dorrell, Dylan's father.

Dylan was a member of the Guyer Cross Country Team, a community that his father said is a tight-knit and like family.

Last month on Aug. 13 the family's life forever changed.

Dylan's mother said while she was getting ready for work, when she heard her son leave at 6 a.m. for cross country practice.

Two hours later she would get a call from her son's coach that Dylan was unconscious.

"I wasn't too scared because our other son had a head injury, he's a pole vaulter, and he had been unconscious for a second. We'll in the back of my mind I'm thinking, we're going to get to the hospital and he's (Dylan) going to be sitting up in bed, talking to us," she explained.

But when she and her husband arrived to the hospital, they found healthcare workers performing CPR on their son.

The family said Dylan died from a sudden cardiac arrest.

“His coach had even commented, it was the best practice he had had all summer.  They were cooling down and the kids that were sitting around him said he was smiling and laughing and never complained of anything. He got up to wash his hands in the bathroom at the park and his coach went in right after him to wash his hands, and he found him unresponsive on the bathroom floor," Dorrell explained.

His parents said paramedics and doctors worked on their son for almost an hour.

"As a mom, to sit there and watch them for 45 minutes do CPR, and his eyes are open looking at me, but he wasn't in there anymore. We just felt it was time to stop," Dorrell said as she teared up.

After further review for a cause of death, the family learned last week that Dylan had developed some scar tissue on his heart. They believe it was from when he caught pneumonia as a baby and then again in fourth grade.

"And those are the only two times Dylan had ever been sick, and it's the only two times that doctors think or imagine where this scar tissue could have developed," his mother explained.

She and her husband said both of their boys had been screened in the past for heart issues before playing sports.

The family said Dylan's scaring wouldn't have appeared in a test, but they're still advocating for others to get their hearts screened.

"We're just helping people not go through what we've gone through and it's very difficult," Dylan's father said.

"And again testing wouldn't have saved Dylan, but it may save somebody else," his mother said.

They're using money from the gofundme account set up for them to pay it forward to helping others get tested and also a scholarship on behalf of Dylan.

"So every year at Guyer, a senior who had the same interest as him, coding, animation, drawing, and the visual arts, they will get a scholarship, it doesn't have to be college, it's whatever schooling they want to move on to," said his mother.

Other's are also helping raise money for the cause. Nicole Jones, the owner of Moms Making Mums has added green ribbons that say #runfordylan and will use part of the proceeds for the scholarship.

"When I heard about her son's passing, it really struck a chord with me because I am also a mom of three boys," Jones said.

"We were so blessed to have him as a son and those constant reminders out there really help us just know that people are thinking about him," said his father.

If you would like to help out with the scholarship fund and foundation for screenings click here.

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