BRUSLY, LA (WAFB) - A community celebrated the birthday of a high school volleyball star who died suddenly from an illness.
Family, friends and volleyball teammates gathered at Alexandria Park in Brusly, to celebrate the would-be birthday of LSU Lab volleyball player Brionna Michelle Ross, who died unexpectedly of viral pneumonia in September.
Ross would have been 16-years-old.
Everyone wore Ross' favorite color purple and released balloons in her honor. One of her closest friends, Zoe Wooten said they would spend every birthday together, they even planned on attending the same college. Wooten said her best-friends' passing has changed her life forever and she will forever be missed.
"Her passing was like a bunch of dreams being crushed and it was just absolutely awful," she said.
Her mother, Candace Robillard-Williams, and step-mother, Kim Williams said the teen was a budding sophomore volleyball player for U-High, who strived for perfection with every game.
"It's heartbreaking to lost a child that young, but they've had an amazing support system in the community," she said. "People from out of town have come and even flew in for the funeral. So, for us, that means that we know her heart was pure. She touched the lives of everyone. We couldn't have asked for anything more."
Robillard told The Advocate in September that the West Baton Rouge Parish coroner's office said the medication her daughter was taking for the pneumonia was ineffective because the case was viral.
The teen's family said recently visited Wake-Forest University where she was planning on attending college. Her dream was to become a pediatrician.