Family of teen football player says he was forced to play until he died (VIDEO)
A 15-year-old Staten Island boy died during football practice last year after his parents say he was forced to continue playing despite the hot temperatures. Nicholas Dellaventura played an offensive lineman at St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School's junior varsity team when his body temperature rose to 110°F causing a heat stroke, hours after a team practice in July. The teen's parents say he stopped momentarily because he couldn't handle playing in the 80 degree weather and high humidity.
The coach, Salvatore Ferraioli, then pushed him to continue despite how winded the boy felt. Now Dellaventura's parents are suing the Archdiocese of New York, the school, the athletic director, the principal and the football coaches for $10 million. Good for them!
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Although Dellaventura's parents say the teen was forced to play against his will, the coach's attorney, Gerald McMahon, denied it to The New York Post. Instead McMahon claims that it is the boy's mother's fault because she sent him to practice knowing he was suffering from a fever caused by an infection he received on vacation.
Ralph Desimone, the teen's family attorney counters McMahon's accusations and says the boy had a clean bill of health and that the school should have taken extra steps to help him. He told the daily: "They did not call 911 right away. They did not administer any type of proper first aid to him when he was in distress.There's elementary things they could have done here that anyone with any kind of rudimentary training would have known."
Despite whose fault it is, it's really sad that this boy died after being overly exerted. I can't imagine how much it must pain his parents to know he died before he could even discover his own potential in life. They're right that the school should have been more wary of his condition, but at the same time sometimes it's hard to tell how much the human body can take. I hope they use more discretion now during their practices to avoid another tragic death like this one.
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