Family of a 12-Year-Old Boy Who Died During Football Practice Is Pushing for Laws on CPR Certification

Elijah Jordan Brown Garcia, Black boy, jumping happily at beach

Elijah Jordan Brown Garcia collapsed during football practice near his 10-year-old brother.

A New Jersey family of a 12-year-old who collapsed and died during football practice is calling for mandated CPR certification and AEDs in athletic organizations.

Elijah Jordan Brown Garcia, was at football practice on Feb. 17 when he collapsed near his 10-year-old brother, ABC 7 reported. 

“No contact. It was just drills running back and forth. He didn’t get hit,” Raven Brown, Elijah’s mother, told News 12. “He was a healthy kid…I don’t know why Friday night was his day.”

The young boy played for the Essex County Predators, who wrote in a post after Elijah's death: “Our Hearts are crushed and our condolences screams out to the family of our very own Elijah E2 Brown We love You.”

The head coach of the youth team had left the practice and put another coach and parents in charge, none of whom knew CPR, according to ABC 7.

Elijah’s 10-year-old brother called their mom when his older brother collapsed and she learned that CPR was not being performed, News 12 reported. She then rushed to her son and called 911 several times, said the news site.

“I beat the ambulance there,” Raven told News 12. “Like 30-40 minutes. It took them a long time.”

Once EMS arrived, Elijah was transported to University Hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to News 12.

The grieving family is now pushing for strict mandates surrounding CPR certification in athletic organizations. 

“This is just the beginning. My family will not stop until there is a law that every athletic organization is mandated to be CPR certified and AEDs are present at every practice and sport competition,” said Donna Brown, Elijah's grandmother.

The GoFundMe page created to support funeral costs described Elijah as “an outgoing, loving young kid. He loved dancing and football and loved his family. He made sure everyone was comfortable with his infectious smile. He loved going to school and he loved his friends.”

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