College student, who suffered brain hemorrhage during spring break trip, dies from brain tumor

Liza Burke, the college senior who made headlines earlier this year after suffering a brain hemorrhage while on a spring break trip to Mexico, has died from a brain tumor. She was 21.

“Following a six-week battle with a previously-undiagnosed brain tumor, Liza transitioned into the next realm peacefully while being cared for by friends and family. Heaven is undoubtedly rejoicing at her arrival,” Liza’s obituary read.

Liza’s mother Laura told 11Alive the 21-year-old “took a final breath, sighed and transitioned into the next realm” in the early morning hours of April 28.

GoFundMe / Friends Of Liza Burke

According to a GoFundMe, the college senior was in Mexico with friends when one morning she experienced a headache that required her to rest. After a few hours of rest her friends attempted to wake her, and when they couldn’t they called a doctor.

Liza was rushed to a hospital where she was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation (AVM) which resulted in a brain hemorrhage and left her on life support.

Once she was stable she was flown from the local hospital in Cabo San Lucas to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.

She was later diagnosed with a stage 4 astrocytoma tumor near her brain stem.

“As they started to try to figure out what was going on – she became less and less responsive,” her mother, Laura McKeithen, told Channel 2 Action News. “Your brain stem is where everything happens, and as a result, that’s why she is not waking up.”

GoFundMe / Friends Of Liza Burke

Liza began receiving radiation, but it did not prove to be helpful and on April 17 her family and doctors decided “cease radiation and pursue providing Liza a send-off like only she deserves!”

Her family brought her to a home on the beach where she spent her final days with friends and family watching her favorite movies.

On April 27 everyone gathered to watch Liza’s favorite movie, Interstellar.

“After the movie ended, Bryan and I went upstairs to sleep while Jack slept hand in hand with his sister,” Laura wrote in a journal entry. “Once he fell asleep and the only eyes on Liza were those of her ‘other mother’, Liza took a final breath, sighed, and transitioned into the next realm.”

“Liza has now been reunited with her sister and they are making up for lost time!”

The 21-year-old’s sister Edie died from MPS1, a rare genetic disorder, according to her obituary.

GoFundMe / Friends Of Liza Burke

Her family is asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Liza and Edie Burke Education Fund made to honor “both sisters and the genuine, dynamic, playful, and fierce way they gave back to the world” and to “support educational opportunities for young people at the University of Georgia and beyond.”


My heart breaks for the Burke family. I hope they are to find some comfort in knowing that Liza and Edie are now together.

May Liza rest in peace.