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Boy, 14, dies after running wind sprints


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  • Boy, 14, dies after running wind sprints

    [Boy, 14, dies after running wind sprints]

    Author: Allen Bates (---.motorola.com)

    Date: 12-11-02 05:51

    No matter the cause, this tragic event speaks to the inadequacy of the present day sports physical.



    Boy, 14, dies after running wind sprints

    Associated Press

    Dec. 10, 2002 12:35 PM

    OMAHA, Neb. - An autopsy was performed Tuesday to determine what caused the death of a 14-year-old boy who collapsed during basketball tryouts.

    Harley Collins, an eighth-grader at McMillan Magnet School, died after running wind sprints Monday. He was standing in line for another round of the exercises when he began to have trouble breathing.

    Autopsy results were not expected to be released until next week, said Corey O'Brien, acting Douglas County coroner.

    Omaha Public Schools spokeswoman Luanne Nelson said the boy's health record did not indicate that he suffered from any ailments. She said he had just passed a physical examination required by the school for anyone who tries out for athletics.

    Collins was a starter on the school's basketball team last year and participated in field events for the track team last spring.


    [Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Allen Bates (---.motorola.com)

    Date: 12-11-02 07:58

    Omaha World-Herald article from the previous day:


    Published Monday

    December 9, 2002

    Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts


    Harley Collins predicted in a fourth-grade essay that he would grow up to be a professional basketball player.

    "If he had to leave this Earth," said his fourth-grade teacher, Pinkie Wheatfall, "playing basketball would be the way he'd choose."

    Four years after writing that essay, and a day after his 14th birthday, Harley collapsed and died while trying out for the McMillan middle school basketball team.

    His family said he was in good health but thinks his death Monday afternoon may have been related to an undiagnosed heart problem.

    An autopsy was to be performed Tuesday.

    Teachers and staff members gathered at the school early Tuesday to prepare for helping Harley's grieving classmates. Many students met with counselors throughout the day.

    Teachers talked about the tragedy in class if students had questions, but they tried to keep the day as normal and structured as possible.

    "It's been a very quiet and sober mood here today," said Principal Greg Emmel. "I've seen a lot of kids who are upset, crying.

    "Honor-roll student, athlete, popular, well-respected, well-liked," he said of Harley. "This was just a kid with a very bright future ahead of him."

    As one of a few seventh-graders to make the McMillan Magnet Center team last year, Harley was nearly guaranteed a position.

    Monday, the teen's blue shorts flapped around his long legs as he raced up and down the basketball court.

    He ran several drills with the 80 or so other students trying out. Then he said he couldn't breathe.

    The other kids thought he was kidding.

    Harley's eyes rolled back. He fell and hit his head, the kids said. Harley started convulsing.

    Coaches were able to relax Harley, said Luanne Nelson, an Omaha Public Schools spokeswoman. A staff member gave him CPR. When paramedics arrived at the school, 3802 Redick Ave., his breathing was erratic.

    Harley was taken to Immanuel Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 3:35 p.m. - about 20 minutes after his collapse.

    It's a shock to students, teachers and family. They remember Harley as a big, healthy kid. He stood 5-foot-9 and weighed about 200 pounds at his death.

    As a kindergartner, they said, Harley looked like a fifth-grader. Wheatfall, who was with the family Monday night, had nicknamed him "Gentle Giant" for his size and demeanor.

    Harley had been in organized sports since he could walk, said his mother, Sheila Collins.

    The family remembered when Harley - at age 7 or 8 - stood a head taller than the other children on the court. When rebounding, he refused to bump into the other kids for fear of hurting them.

    "He would stop and reach over them. It was a conscious thing," said his uncle, Harley DeHart.

    The young Harley played football and basketball at the Boys and Girls Clubs and the YMCA. At the club's football banquet Saturday, Harley was surprised with a birthday cake.

    Even with his devotion to sports, Harley got A's in school, his family said.

    "He was like a big brother to everybody," said 12-year-old Grant Buss, who was at the tryouts Monday.

    Buss and other students who watched Harley's collapse said they were taken to the cafeteria when paramedics came to the school.

    They returned later, they said, and continued the tryouts.

    Nelson, the OPS spokeswoman, said the coaches may have thought it was best to continue until they got further word on Harley's condition.

    When the coaches told the kids about Harley, Buss said, "Everybody started crying."

    The Collins family has not yet made funeral plans.

    Harley also is survived by his father, William Collins of Omaha, and his older brothers, Timothy and William Jr., who both attend Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.

    World-Herald staff writer Angie Brunkow contributed to this report.


    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (208.47.172.---)

    Date: 12-11-02 09:03

    regardless of the cause of death...

    God Bless Harley Collins.

    I do hope the family finds answers and peace. I continue to hope that we can find a way to end these tragic events.




    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Stacey (---.ipt.aol.com)

    Date: 12-11-02 19:48

    My heart goes out to Harley's family...


    Published Wednesday

    December 11, 2002

    Heart of boy who died was apparently enlarged



    An enlarged heart might have caused the death of a 14-year-old who collapsed Monday while trying out for his middle school basketball team, his mother said.

    Sheila Collins said Tuesday that the coroner's preliminary findings show that Harley Collins' heart weighed 500 grams. The average heart weighs about 340 grams, according to multiple heart Web sites.

    The autopsy won't be complete for about a week, Collins said.

    Harley was an eighth-grader at McMillan Magnet Center, where he played on last year's basketball team. He also played basketball and football at the Boys & Girls Clubs and the YMCA.

    Harley collapsed Monday after running several drills during tryouts. His mother said he recently had a physical examination.

    An enlarged heart can lead to congestive heart failure or cause sudden cardiac death, according to an American Heart Association Web site. Thirty-six percent of young athletes who die suddenly have probable or confirmed enlarged hearts.

    Harley's funeral will be 10 a.m. Friday at Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church, 3336 Lake St.


    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

    Date: 12-12-02 06:31

    I have contacted the reporter and hope to speak to her later today.



    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Maura (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 12-13-02 03:52

    This saddens me deeply, My thoughts and Paryers are with Harleys Family and Friends..........


    Mother to Travis Mendoza

    Victim to undectected HCM

    7-9-1988~ 8-22-02


    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Judd (---.proxy.aol.com)

    Date: 12-15-02 03:40

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the family and friends of this young, talented boy. May God be with you and all cardiologists to be able to provide detection from HCM and all heart defects so that treatment can be administered and healthy lives still be led.


    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Rose Kehoe (65.107.202.---)

    Date: 12-18-02 06:04

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family and friends of Harley. My son was diagnosed with HCM the day before he was to try out for his 8th grade basketball team. We were very fortunate that Michael had a murmur that was detected by a wonderful pediatrician during a routine physical. ALthough the doctor thought there might be nothing to it he suggested we see a cardiologist to rule out any heart disease. Well we found out in the first visit that Michael had HCM. Since the diagnosis we have traveled from PA to Minn to see Dr. Marone two times the second visit, Michael had an ICD placed because with the history of syncope (that had been thought to be due to Michael not eating) and the HCM he was at a high risk to experience a life threatening event. I want to participate in making sure that there is a thorough screening for adolescents who participate in physical activities so that we can prevent this tragedy from occurring. Our family is a basketball family, my husband coaches a high school team, my older son coaches a DIv II team, and my brother is the head coach of a Division I school in Philadelphia. It has been difficult and sad for Michael at times but when I think of what could have happened I thank God every day for the pediatrician and the murmur (that is not one of the signs of HCM according to Dr. Marone), Michael has recently come to the understanding that the pediatrician quite possibly saved his lift, prior to this he just decided not to put much thought into what has happened to him in the last two years. Well sorry for going on about our lives I just happened on this site and when I read about Harley I just became very emotional and I wanted to let the family know that they are in our prayers. God bless you.


    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Sarah B. Board Moderator (12.144.99.---)

    Date: 12-18-02 08:20

    Dear Rose,

    Please don't apologize for telling us your story --that is what we are here for.

    We are _all_ glad that Michael is still with us and has an ICD. He is getting the best medical care possible, which is all you can ask. If only it were available to everyone.

    take care and welcome to the board,



    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Sharon (---.ph.ph.cox.net)

    Date: 12-18-02 18:45

    I would also like to express my condolenses to the Harley Collins' family and friends. We know first hand the heartache and pain that is felt so deeply. May God comfort everyone throughout this trying period of grief. God Bless Harley!

    Hello Rose,

    Welcome to the board and praise God for the wonderful pediatrician that saved your son, Micheal's life. My son, Anthony, was not so lucky. Anthony died at age 20 two years ago from undetected HCM. Anthony was a football player at Kansas State University (a Div I school).

    In Sept. 2002 I formed the Anthony Bates Foundation and a growing partnership with the HCMA's. We are just starting to do heart screenings throughout the US. As of Sept. 2002, we have done three screenings (two at KSU in Manhattan, KS and one at MPHS in Phoenix, AZ) over 900 people. We are finding over 6% of our young participants are coming up with heart abnormalities and at which time we are recommending full cardiac screenings.

    There will be many ways for people like yourself to get involved in 2003. Thank you for taking an interest in our causes. You know first hand that early detection saves lives. Your connections with the coaches in your family can help us open doors at neighborhood schools and universities.

    Check out our website for pictures of our latest event:


    If you would like me to forward some information to you, please email me direct.

    Best Regards,



    [Re: Boy, 14, dies at basketball tryouts]

    Author: Allen Bates (---.motorola.com)

    Date: 12-19-02 12:14


    I am glad to read that you are also interested in screening for HCM and would like to help. As it happens, there will be a screening near you that could use some help.

    Could I encourage you to contact Stew Krug here on the board?

    You can find his posting titled "Delaware Heart Screening".

    NOTE: This is a post from the previous forum message board.

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