An All-American Connecticut college gymnast died after falling off the uneven bars during practice and sustained a severe spinal cord injury.
According to the New York Post, Melanie Coleman,20, succumbed to her injuries two days after she slipped off the uneven bars during practice on Friday at the New Era Gymnastics facility in Hamden. Coleman was a student gymnast at Southern Connecticut State University and studied nursing. Her former coach, Thomas Alberti, said Coleman was injured after she slipped off the bars and called it “unexpected.”
“It was an unexpected accident with a tragic result.”
Her mother, Susan Coleman, said her daughter comes from a large family and was very close with her four siblings-two who are also gymnasts.
“She’s from a very large, loving family — there’s seven of us, we were the Coleman seven. We spent every day together for the past 20 years.”
A GoFundMe page was created to help support Coleman’s family and has raised more than $32,800 by Monday afternoon. Coleman was also listed as an organ donor.
Southern Connecticut University President Joe Bertolino sent his condolences to Coleman’s family in a statement.