EL PASO, Texas - A 14-year-old Andress High School football player was taken to a local hospital Monday after he became ill and is now in a medically-induced coma, his mother told ABC-7.
El Paso Independent School District officials said the player was transported Monday morning, following football practice at the school. Initially, EPISD officials told ABC-7 the student was taken to the hospital as a precaution, but later said doctors were evaluating him.
The boy's mother, Monica Rodriguez told ABC-7 her son, Andrew Rodriguez, was "unresponsive" at the school before being taken to the hospital. She said her son is now in a medically-induced coma caused by severe dehydration.
"I would hate to think that for the love of any game our children's health is being jeopardized. Please, please inform the viewers to check up on their children. Stop by early at practice. I was there for the last thirty minutes of practice and I'm still watching machines breathe for my son," Monica Rodriguez wrote in a statement to ABC-7.
Though several area schools have been holding football practice for weeks, this week marked the beginning of football boot camp, a more intense workout to prepare the athletes for the upcoming season.
ABC-7 stopped by Franklin High School, another EPISD school doing the boot camp.
"Our goal is to work around the heat and get done early in the morning before it gets too hot. Unfortunately, like during our boot camp session it's harder to do that so we have our kids carry 5 gallon jugs of water with them and we give them plenty of breaks during the workout so they can cool off and get them back inside," said Darren Walker, Franklin's Head Football Coach.
Andrew's cousin and fellow teammate, Joevon Estrada, described Andrew as outgoing and motivating.
"I'm just hoping he gets better soon because we need him on the football team. And we want him to get better because we do love him," Estrada said.
The EPISD Athletic Director said all students are required to get a physical examination before they start practice.
Andrew's mother said Andrew was cleared during his physical and has no previous medical conditions that may have caused his collapse.