A young boy tragically passed away on the football field after collapsing during practice.
12-year-old Elijah Jordan Brown Garcia from New Jersey was at a training session for Essex County Predators with his teammates and younger brother when he collapsed suddenly on Friday morning.
According to the reports, the head coach was gone at the time of the incident, whereas another coach was left supervising the young athletes while parents watched on.
After the boy collapse, an ambulance was called to the scene. Unfortunately, no one at the scene knew how to perform CPR on the unconscious child while waiting more than half an hour for help to arrive.
“You have adults that are supposed to be in charge of our kids, and they don’t have the bare minimum when it comes to CPR or being able to realize what is an emergency and what’s not,” Elijah’s grieving aunt, Sable Shelton, said as the family called for all youth sports coaches to undergo CPR training.
“We have this conversation about football all the time when it comes to them big, known players.
“But why we don’t have the bare minimum for the children, the kids — and my nephew had to witness it.”
Under New Jersey law, youth sports coaches aren’t required to undergo CPR training.
Speaking out was also Elijah’s heartbroken mom who demanded to know why no one on her son’s team was CPR certified.
“It’s unbearable how much love I’m getting for my baby. He didn’t deserve this, he was a good kid. He had so much further to go, he had so much more time, he was supposed to be here,” she said.
“The coach wasn’t there, and he told me none of us are CPR certified, but I’m gonna do my best to make sure that all of us become CPR certified.
“I have three other kids and I had to get them dressed and ready and I got there and the ambulance still wasn’t there, and I called when I got there. They were literally on their way.”
The family has since also launched a GoFundMe page and raised more than $30,000 for the young boy’s funeral expenses.
“Elijah was an outgoing, loving young kid. He loved dancing and football and loved his family. He made sure everyone was comfortable with his infectious smile. He loved going to school and he loved his friends,” they wrote.
Our thoughts are with Elijah’s family and friends during this challenging time.
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