A high school baseball player in New Jersey died over the weekend after he was struck in the chest by a pitch during an evening practice with his all-star travel team.
Thomas Adams, a 16-year-old sophomore at Garfield High School, was playing catcher when a pitch missed his glove and slammed into his chest protector.
The teen stood up and said "I can't breathe," before collapsing into cardiac arrest, Fox New York reported. Local paramedics arrived and rushed the boy to St. Joseph's Regional Medical center in Paterson, where he later died.
Adams' father, Thomas P. Adams, said the boy had no known medical conditions and local news reports said he was wearing all his catchers gear, including the chest protector, at the time of the freak accident.
"I go in the hospital, all these doctors are trying to pump him back to life. I just sat there in shock," Adams' father told CBS. "I mean how could this be? Thirty minutes ago he was alive and the weird thing is he had all the protection so it's…there's no line to the reason."
"It's just like my best friend is gone." he said. "I just dropped him off and how he's gone."
Police collected the boy's chest protector, knee pads and catchers mask as part of the investigation and were waiting for a report from the medical examiner to determine the cause of death, The Bergen Record reported.
The boy's father said he wanted to know whether the gym the team was practicing in had a defibrillator.
Several student athletes have been injured and killed in similar incidents in the past decade.
In 2006, Steven Domalewski, 12, fell into a coma after he was hit in the chest by a line drive during a baseball game in Wayne, N.J.
Doctors determined that Steven suffered commotio cordis, a potentially fatal disturbance of the heart's rhythm caused by sudden, blunt force to the chest. Domalewski survived but was left unable to walk or speak.
In 2004, a lacrosse player at Cornell University, George Boiardi, died after being hit by a shot by an opposing player during a game in Ithaca, N.Y.
It is believed that Boiardi died from commotio cordis, and the incident led the NCAA to call for defibrillators to be on site during games.
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