A small Texas town is grieving after the loss of a promising high school freshman from what was both a true freak accident and every track coach's worst nightmare.
As reported by the Associated Press and the Amarillo Globe-News, among other sources, Hereford (Tx.) High freshman Joshua Ramirez was buried on Thursday after he passed away from complications connected with a bizarre discus accident at an area track meet.
According to the Globe-News, Ramirez was stretching before one of his events at a track meet on March 8 when he was struck in the hip with an errant discus through. The teen was too injured to participate that day and was encouraged to ice the injury and keep a close eye on its swelling.
A week later Ramirez was pronounced dead, with everyone stunned with the sudden loss of a teen described by all as a vibrant student athlete. No cause of death has yet been promulgated by either the hospital or the Ramirez family, and his uncle told the Amarillo newspaper that the family was as confused as it was saddened by the loss of Ramirez's loss.
"We’re not sure exactly what happened," Jesse Ramirez told the newspaper.
The Globe-News reported that Ramirez was first checked into the hospital on March 10, two days after the initial injury. At first, Ramirez was kept in the emergency room but was only subject to loose oversight. Then, a follow-up exam including x-rays the subsequent day inspired doctors to transfer Ramirez to the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital, where he died days later.
The only possible explanation of Ramirez's passing to date has come from the Hereford coaching staff itself, which told Amarillo CBS affiliate KDFA that the discus strike could have split one of Ramirez's muscles, which then would have released toxins into his body as he stretched.
That's a plausible explanation, but it remains a pure guess to this point.
While Ramirez's death can only be categorized as a tragic accident, those who knew him best have reflected on his life as one of faith and good will, giving them comfort that the teenager is now in a better place.
"It hurts, but I know he's in a better place," Ramirez's father, pastor Joshua John Ramirez, told KFDA.