On the same week Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the football field and was brought back to life, a teenage girl was less fortunate.
Ashari Hughes, 16, collapsed and later passed away following what was described by Desert Oasis High School Principal Ian Salzman as a “medical emergency.”
According to KLAS in Las Vegas, the incident in question occurred on Thursday night.
“With deepest sympathy, I write to inform you of the recent passing of one of our students,” Salzman wrote on Friday morning.
The letter stipulated that “staff immediately began providing medical aid and continued until paramedics arrived,” but it was to no avail.
In a conversation with FOX 5, a family member related to Hughes said that she “was playing flag football and was having chest problems.”
Apparently, she went to the sidelines to take a break when she collapsed.
It is also being suggested that Hughes had ongoing heart problems. The family had reportedly discussed this with a cardiologist, but Hughes was still cleared to play sports.
A GoFundMe was launched in honor of Hughes with $50,000 as the target. As of Saturday morning, more than $21,000 had already been contributed.
“We are doing a fundraiser for our daughter Ashari and everything helps,” Hughes’ family wrote.
“As a family, we are thankful. Ashari was 16 years old and was playing the game she loves, football. Little did we know this would be her final sophomore game. She was passionate, loving, and determined. She loved music, dancing, and bring around all the people she loved.
“She called football the real love of her life! She loved hard and was loved by many. She will be missed by all of us. Hold the #7 up high for her! It was her first football number and she always wanted to represent it well!”
Obviously the fact that this occurred on the same week as the Hamlin situation is eerie. Although he was brought back to life thanks to the heroic quick-thinking of one Bills team member, what happened to Hughes is a reminder of how things could have gone.
Yes, Hamlin woke up and asked a three-word question that left everyone giddy. But it’s important to recognize that he could just as easily not have. When people’s health is at stake, the line between life and death is a thin one.
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Baker Mayfield’s wife’s response to the Damar Hamlin situation caused a stir. But maybe folks should heed her words a little more closely.
The Tulane fan from the USC game has been identified. Her videos speak for themselves. https://t.co/WRljD2RifF
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 6, 2023
What happened to Hughes is an absolute tragedy.
It will be impossible for her family to fully recover from this. No one should ever suffer the loss of a child.
Hopefully as time passes the Hughes family will ultimately be able to honor her memory in a way that gives them peace and provides their life with meaning.