Elijah Jordan Brown Garcia

‘He didn’t deserve this’: 12-year-old Collapses at Football Practice, Dies After 30-Minute Ambulance Wait

A 12-year-old football player with the Essex County Predators in New Jersey has reportedly passed away after collapsing during a football drill Friday.

According to ABC New York, Elijah Jordan Brown Garcia was doing a “light football drill on the field at West Side Park” in Newark when he fell unconscious. According to the child’s family, no one at the park knew CPR and despite numerous calls for help, it took first responders 30 minutes to arrive.

Elijah’s mother, Raven Brown, told News 12 News Jersey that bystanders poured water on him and tried to fan him while waiting on help to arrive.

“I said, ‘What are they doing? What is anybody doing?’ And he said, ‘They are pouring water on him, and they are fanning him.’ And that’s when I got my kids together and I said, ‘I’m on my way,'” she said.

When first responders arrived, Elijah was rushed to the University Hospital in Newark where he was pronounced dead. Brown said her son had no known underlying health conditions.

“He was so happy to be there. He didn’t know that it was going to be his last day,” Brown told News 12 New Jersey.

A hospital spokesperson released a statement following the fatal incident, extending their condolences, but declined to comment further.

“University Hospital extends its deepest condolences to the grieving family of this young person. For privacy reasons, however, UH cannot comment on protected health information regarding our patients, including confirmation of a patient’s identity.”

Meanwhile, the team’s coach promised to get “everyone CPR certified,” Brown said, according to CBS News New York.

A county prosecutor told CBS New York that they are not investigating the ambulance delay, while the sheriff and the city declined to comment on the incident.

Although New Jersey schools are required to have defibrillators and someone trained in CPR during sports events and practices, the law does not extend to private youth athletics.

“Those coaches out there, they need to be CPR certified,” Brown said. “He was a great kid, a great, amazing kid, and he didn’t deserve this.”

GoFundMe fundraiser has been set up to help the child’s family with funeral expenses.

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[Feature Photo: Family Handout via ABC New York]