As more than 800 funeral attendees gathered at an Orange County church on Tuesday to mourn 17-year-old tennis star Morgan Wilson, her friends and family were promoting an organization to save lives in Wilson's honor.
Chelsea Parker, 16, said Wilson was her "best, best, best friend."
"She was beautiful, she was athletic," Parker said. "I call her my person, because she understood me, she was there for me."
When Wilson, who had shown no previous signs of health problems, suffered a cardiac arrest during a workout July 8 at the Anaheim Tennis Center, friends and family members said they were shocked.
"She is a strong girl, and so for something like this to happen, it's just totally blown us away," Wilson's father said at a prayer service for the girl’s recovery.
Wilson died in the hospital just more than a week after her collapse. Her parents said in a statement they believe her life could have been saved if CPR had been administered in time.
"I think she would like others to be saved on her behalf," Parker told NBC4 at the funeral.
Parker and Wilson's family are starting an organization called Learn for Morgan with the intention of teaching every Orange County high school student CPR.
They plan to partner with the American Heart Association to teach students how to recognize symptoms of cardiac arrest, how to administer CPR and where to find automated external defibrillators, Parker said.
"I would like to educate people not only on CPR, not only on using an AED, but also the difference between a seizure and a heart attack, or even a cardiac arrest," she said. "I think that's the big important thing that we need to get out there."
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Debbie Wilson, Morgan Wilson's mother, said in a statement she hopes the organization will "prevent as many untimely deaths as possible."
Morgan Wilson was the captain of Esperanza High School's girls' tennis team and would have been a senior at the school this fall.
On Tuesday, mourners streamed into a City of Orange church. Some wore purple, Morgan Wilson's favorite color, and some donned sports uniforms in honor of her athleticism. A family spokeswoman said the Wilsons requested the attire in celebration of Morgan Wilson's life.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations for Learn for Morgan.