Issaiah, who had been sitting on the bench just prior to halftime, had shown no signs of being sick and was walking towards the end zone for snacks when he suddenly collapsed on the field.
“I hopped the fence so fast and went to him,” said the boy’s father, German Abrego. “He was having a hard time breathing. His eyes were rolled back. His tongue was in the back of his throat.”
The boy was rushed to the hospital, and Mr. Abrego was told by doctors that his son’s death was not football-related but may have had something to do with his heart. The exact cause of death has not yet been released.
“The doctors made it clear,” said football coach Kevin Walker. “The issues with his heart were not related to sports.”
This may come as a relief to some parents of young football players, as studies show that as many as 87% of parents report worrying about injuries in youth sports. But Issaiah’s cause of death is still considered a mystery.
The otherwise healthy eighth-grader had undergone a regular checkup last February and even had an EKG test performed just six months prior to the incident. His results came back completely normal, showing no risk for heart failure.
Executive director and founder of the LV Sportz Foundation Brian Bartolome commented, “We are interested in learning the cause of this tragedy and will work (tirelessly) to combat whatever is the culprit. Unfortunately, there are things that are impossible to find or prepare for.”