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16-Year-Old Las Vegas High School Flag Football Player Dies Following ‘Medical Emergency’ During Game

Photo: 16-Year-Old Las Vegas High School Flag Football Player Dies Following ‘Medical Emergency’ During Game
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A 16-year-old student who attended Desert Oasis High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, died after suffering a “medical emergency” during a flag football game Thursday night.

Ashari Hughes was identified by the Clark County coroner’s office, but her cause of death was yet to be determined on Friday, reported Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Hughes reportedly had been playing varsity flag football in a game against Valley High School.

The Review-Journal cited a Facebook post Thursday night by Aphelia Phifer-Hill, a registered nurse, who said she rushed onto the field to perform CPR on Hughes, who was a teammate of her daughter.

“Today was the first time ever, in my 26 years of nursing that I had to do CPR on a kid,” Phifer-Hill reportedly wrote, adding Hughes collapsed after the game.

She said emergency medical technicians attempted chest compressions and used an external defibrillator.

“We were able to get a heart rhythm,” her post reportedly read.

“Her family was not at the game, but finally arrived,” she also wrote.

Phifer-Hill continued that Hughes was hospitalized and intubated, but ultimately passed away.

“On the field she was a beast,” Marilyn Barnes, the mother of a friend of Hughes who plays flag football at Centennial High School, said Friday morning, according to the Review-Journal. “She put her heart into that game, every game she played. Off the field she was so bubbly. She always had a smile on her face.”

“It’s very scary because at the end of the day, we think of sports as a sport.” Barnes said. “We all have plans on what happens after the game, get the family home, have dinner and get the babies ready for school the next day. You just never think on that field or court that’s their last moment.”

Marc Ratner, Southern Nevada spokesperson from the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, said he was “just blown away” by the news of Hughes’ death.

“It’s such a horrible, horrible day,” he added.

“With deepest sympathy, I write to inform you of the recent passing of one of our students,” said Desert Oasis High School Principal Ian Salzman in a statement published at KTNV News:

Last night, a student suffered a medical emergency during an athletic event. Staff immediately began providing medical aid and continued until paramedics arrived. It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that the student passed away. The school and the entire district mourn the loss of this young life.

We will truly remember this student as part of our Diamondbacks family.

Salzman added the Clark County School District’s Crisis Response Team would be available for any in need of its services. He urged parents to be aware of how grief may appear in children and to seek counseling if further support is needed.

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