Months after surviving first sports collapse, Oregon 12-year-old dies after similar incident

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

In a twist that is almost too painful to believe, just three months removed from miraculously surviving a dangerous, heart attack-related collapse during a basketball game, an Oregon 12-year-old collapsed and died while playing baseball.

12-year-old Isaac Arzate, who died after collapsing while playing baseball — Associated Press
12-year-old Isaac Arzate, who died after collapsing while playing baseball — Associated Press

As reported by the Associated Press and a variety of other sources, 12-year-old Isaac Arzate died hours after collapsing during an unofficial baseball game at Scott Elementary School in Salem on Friday night. The incident occurred some three months after Arzate collapsed with a heart attack during another sporting event at the same school, in an incident when he was resuscitated by paramedics.

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After his first collapse, Arzate underwent surgery to repair a heart defect, with the procedure deemed a success. Still, the Doernbecher Children's Hospital at Oregon University refused to release information about whether Arzate had been cleared to participate in sports after his surgical procedure.

While the tragedy has affected the entire Salem community, it hit particularly hard on the paramedic crew which failed to save his life despite valiant efforts on Friday. According to Marion County Fire District Chief Kevin Henson, some of the paramedics on the scene Friday night had also been on the call which initially saved Arzate's life in January and immediately recognized the victim.

''All calls involving critical pediatric patients are tough, and it was particularly hard on this crew,'' Henson told the Associated Press.

While the Arzate family has yet to comment on the tragedy which befell their son, the middle schooler's classmates at Salem (Ore.) Stephens Middle School were left in a state of shock on Monday, with counselors available to any students who requested them, according to Salem-Keizer School District spokesman Jay Remy.

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