A 17-year-old high school football player has tragically died after collapsing during a game on Friday in Florida.
Jacquez Welch was playing the sport he well and truly loved when he was involved in a group tackle. However, when everyone made it to their feet afterwards, it was noticed that the teenager was not moving and laid still on the floor unconscious.
He was treated by paramedics at the scene and was rushed to hospital where it was discovered that he had a pre-existing brain condition, arteriovenous malformation.
Arteriovenous malformation, or AVM as it’s more commonly known, means that there are abnormal connections between the arteries and veins in the brain.
On Monday evening, Jacquez’s family took the tough decision to take him off life support.
His mother Marica Nelson, who was in the stands when her son fell unconscious, said how she didn’t want her son’s tragedy to stop other young people from playing football.
“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,” she said in a press conference on Monday.
Jacquez’s mother also said that she and her family had made the decision to make him an organ donor, which means that through Jacquez’s death, they’re able to save another seven lives.
Something she said would have made Jacquez eternally proud as she described him as a giving person.
His algebra teacher at Northeast high school spoke of the young football player’s ambitions in life, saying: “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.”
Head injuries are a common problem in American Football due to the hard-hitting nature of the game, but more is being done to help to prevent them.