A high school football player is said to be brain dead after collapsing during a game on Friday night, according to his mother.
Jacquez Welch, 17, was involved in a group tackle during the game at his Florida high school. However when the group parted, he was left unconscious on the floor.
Paramedics rushed the teen to hospital where doctors discovered he had a pre-existing brain condition which no one had known about prior to his collapse, ABC7 reports.
Welch is said to have been born with arteriovenous malformation, which is also known as AVM. This means he has an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins in the brain.
His mother, Marica Nelson, was in the stands watching the game when the incident happened. She’s since appeared at a press conference to confirm that her son is brain dead, however she was eager to point out that his collapse had nothing to do with the sport.
At the conference on Monday she said:
I don’t want anybody to be scared of sports. It just happened to him at an early age, doing what he loved to do.
Welch’s family took Jacquez off life support on Monday night after an honour walk.. His mum said they were making her son an organ donor to seven people, meaning he’d be able to save many lives through losing his own.
I am content. This is not anything I could control.
According to his mum, Jacquez was a giving person, so would be eternally proud to know his organs will be used to save the lives of several other people. She also said how football was the 17-year-old’s passion, meaning he died doing what he loved.
She paid tribute to her son who was an older brother and a role model for his siblings.
According to Welch’s algebra teacher, he was an ambitious student.
He told the Tampa Bay Times:
Jacquez knew what he wanted and was serious about going after it. Even back then, he was talking to me about how much it meant to go to college.
His legacy will live on at Northeast High School.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.