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Answers found in Tomball teen's mysterious prom death

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Rumors of drugs and alcohol circulated after she died suddenly, but her parents want people to know they weren't true. (KTRK)

Lisa Barksdale says she finds comfort in looking at her daughter's journal. The entries in Madison Barksdale's final days reflect the young woman she had become.

She wrote, "Live well, live blessed and be whole."

Something very difficult for her parents who have lived their worst nightmare.

Madi died after attending her senior prom for Tomball's Concordia Lutheran High School and an after party at a private home. Her parents describe her as an old soul with a child's heart.

"My pain is in not seeing her but it's also in knowing what a loss she is for the world," said her father Kevin.

She was an honors student who had been accepted to NYU to study pediatric nursing as well as a champion equestrian rider who had a way with horses.

"She had such a quietness about her and a gentleness about her that she really became like one with the horse," said her mother Lisa.

The couple was not only consumed with grief but so many questions after their daughter's death. Then there was the social media storm that followed.

Her father said, "By 2 o'clock the stories had started and they were awful."

Allegations of drugs and alcohol abuse were being shared on social media, the couple knew that was unlike their daughter.

"Understand this is a child we're talking about and to make any kind of assumption and then repeat it as fact is just unconscionable to me," said Lisa Barksdale.

Weeks later a phone call brought them peace and relief.

"Science wins over rumor every time," said Mr. Barksdale.

Their daughter had an undetected congenital heart condition that doctors told them would have gone undetected even with many tests.

"It's very scary, it's so silent you don't know what to look for. Having been with her the day before and the symptoms, she was congested, we thought it was a chest cold. But she was going to prom," said Lisa.

The couple says now their focus is on healing and holding onto the memories.

Her mother said, "Sometimes I think she was so incredibly special because God knew we weren't going to have her that long." Her mother Lisa read one of the last journal entries that ended with, "The beauty of brokenness is that God can put the pieces back together."

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newspromteenheart defectsTomball
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