A distraught Newark mother is seeking explanations after learning that her 12-year-old son passed away during football practise. According to Raven Brown of CBS2, no one in practice knew CPR, and the ambulance came late.
“I’m numb right now. I’ve been crying,” said Brown.
Elijah Jordan Brown-Garcia, her eldest son, passed away on Friday after accompanying his younger brother to a youth football session at West Side Park. According to Brown, he had no past health difficulties. After collapsing, Elijah’s brother called their mother.
Brown stated, “He said they’re throwing water on him and they’re fanning him.”
Brown claims that after two 911 calls from people on the field, she made a third call and hurried over. She claimed an ambulance showed up about 30 to 40 minutes later.
According to Brown, Elijah was declared deceased at University Hospital, and the family is awaiting the autopsy results. According to Brown, she questioned the Essex County Predators team’s coach about why nobody seemed to know what to do.
Brown added, “And he said none of us are CPR certified.”
Since then, the coach has promised to certify everyone in CPR, according to Brown. But no team captains or Big 21 representatives from Bloomfield responded to our request for comment.
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We inquired about the claimed ambulance delay with the city of Newark. A spokeswoman directed us to the sheriff’s office, which led us to the county prosecutor, who informed us that no investigation was being conducted.
The sheriff and city declined to comment. According to a hospital representative, sensitive health information prevents them from commenting.
Defibrillators and at least one CPR instructor are needed at practices at New Jersey schools. Yet, they are not necessary for exclusive youth sporting events. Former governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill in 2015 that called for them to cross the board.
“Those coaches out there, they need to be CPR certified,” said Brown. “He was a great kid, a great, amazing kid, and he didn’t deserve this.”
“He enjoyed playing football. He enjoyed dancing. He was a big brother to his siblings,” said Zeneida Garcia, Elijah’s aunt.
On Saturday at the field, there will be a memorial service and balloon release in honor of Elijah. The American Heart Association estimates that only 8% of those who experience cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive. Yet, prompt CPR from a passerby can increase survival rates by two to three.
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William Martin the author of Cemetery Boys, received their MFA in Creative Writing from his college, Martin often haunted Mountain View Cemetery like a second home during their misspent youth.