Days after collapsing during a Texas high school football game, a senior marching band student has died, according to local news reports.
Daniel Esparza, 17, suffered a medical emergency “during the late stages of Friday’s football game between Bowie and Ysleta at Baty Simmang Memorial Stadium,” the El Paso Times reported.
He had been performing when he lost consciousness and collapsed, loved ones said on GoFundMe. First responders began treating him at the scene before he was rushed to a hospital.
“It was scary, it was chaotic, it was heartbreaking,” Liana Armijo, a Ysleta school district athletic trainer who helped provide CPR, told KFOX.
About two days later, on Sunday, Sept. 10, Daniel died of his injuries, KFOX reported.
“Daniel was a beloved member of the school community,” the El Paso Independent School District said in a Facebook post. “He was a dutiful member of the Bowie band, mariachi group and JROTC who relished his role as a leader. El Paso ISD stands with Daniel’s family and with the entirety of Bowie High School as they gather the strength to deal with this trying time.”
Armijo said it is unclear what caused Daniel to collapse, but heat may have contributed to his death, according to KFOX.
“Whether there were underlying conditions or not it doesn’t change the fact that it was very hot out there and being out in the desert it makes anybody susceptible to a heat illness, especially (Friday) night on the field it was over 100 degrees,” she told the news station.
Bowie band director Roberto Campos III described Daniel as a “wonderful kid,” according to the El Past Times.
“Music was a passion for him and he wanted to pursue that moving forward. We are going to miss him,” Campos III told the newspaper. “Daniel had a great passion for life, he loved his family, his friends, his school ... We always enjoyed being around Daniel, he was a positive influence on others, he was a great friend. In honor of him, we will continue to perform, we will continue to be the best we can. That’s what he would have wanted.”
Bowie High School is in El Paso.
The district has crisis counselors available to students and staff for the rest of the week.