Cameron Espinosa, 13, DIES after allergic reaction to ant bites on Texas school football field
- Cameron Espinosa from Corpus Christi was playing a football game when he was bitten
- He collapsed on the field after screaming 'Ants! Ants!'
- It is likely they were fire ants which are red or black
- Around 40 Americans die annually from insect sting anaphylaxis
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 12:42 EST, 17 September 2013 | UPDATED: 09:04 EST, 18 September 2013
A Texas middle-school football player has died after suffering a severe allergic reaction to fire ant bites during a game last week.
Cameron Espinoza was pronounced dead Monday morning after spending five days in intensive care at Driscoll Children’s Hospital, where he was put in a medically induced coma to reduce the swelling in his brain.
The boy lost consciousness last Wednesday after being attacked by ants during a halftime at Haas Middle School in Corpus Christi.
Rest in peace: Cameron Espinosa, 13, (left) passed away five days after he was bitten by ants last Wednesday
Football player: The young teenager was attacked by insect during halftime and lost consciousness
'CCISD is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our very own Haas Middle School students,’ a statement posted Monday on Corpus Christi Independent School District's Facebook page read.
'We would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of this student. The District will do all we can in support of the student’s family and the entire Haas school community during this sad time.'
Haas Middle School had a moment of silence in honor of the 13-year-iold, and grief councilors have been made available to students and staff.
All athletic and extracurricular activities at the school have been cancelled for the rest of the week, according to the station KHOU11.
Cameron's mother, Josephine Limon, has retained an attorney to represent her family. Speaking to the station KRIS-TV, the grieving parent pointed a finger of blame for her son’s death at school staffers.
‘My baby could be here if there were more trained personnel on the field, she said. ‘An epipen or something could have saved him at least.’
Miss Limon said the 13-year-old, whom she described as an ‘amazing boy,’ aspired to study medicine and play football in college.
CCISD school board member Hector Salinas spoke out in the wake of the tragedy, telling KRIS-TV the coaches should have done more to ensure the football field was safe after first learning of an ant infestation.
an eighth grade student at Haas Middle School in Corpus Christi, was
huddled with fellow players during halftime of a game with nearby Hamlin
Middle School, when he began to scream, ‘Ants! Ants!’
'Ants! Ants!': The high school student screamed when he was bitten by the ants
A coach ran over and attempted to squirt the ants off Espinosa's legs using a water bottle shortly before he lost consciousness and collapsed on the field, according to KZTV.
The coach called 911 while an assistant coach ran to a nearby gym to find a defibrillator, which they used to restart the boy's heart.
Paramedics arrived shortly afterwards and transported the boy to Bay Area Hospital in Corpus Christi.
He was later transferred to Driscoll Children's Hospital, also in Corpus Christi, where he passed away overnight Sunday.
Funeral services for Cameron will be held Wednesday, followed by a Mass and burial Thursday. The school will retire his Jersey No. 66.
The principal told KZTV that the football field would not be used until it had been treated for ants.
It is likely that the ants were fire ants, given the boy’s reaction, said Dr Stanley Fineman, an allergist with the Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic and immediate past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Student: Espinosa, 13, studies at Haas Middle School (pictured) in Corpus Christi, Texas
Hospitalised: He is still in critical condition at the hospital
Deadly insects: Around 40 people die every year in the country from allergic reactions to insect bites and stings such as from wasps
Fire ants can be red or black. They're the only ants that inject venom, which is what prompts an allergic reaction that can vary from a single itchy, red bump to hives or anaphylactic shock, he said.
‘In some patients only one sting could trigger a life-threatening reaction,’ Fineman said.
Insect stings send more than 500,000 Americans to emergency rooms every year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, and more than 40 people die annually from insect sting anaphylaxis.
Typically, insects which generate allergic responses are either stinging insects like wasps, bees, hornets and ants, or biting insects such as mosquitoes and ticks.
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