CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — A 12-year-old boy died after apparently having a severe allergic reaction to ant bites he suffered while warming up during halftime of a South Texas middle school football game, officials confirmed Tuesday.
Cameron Espinosa died days after being bitten multiple times by fire ants, officials said. The boy used a water bottle to try to flush away the ants Sept. 11 before eventually losing consciousness, said Lorette Williams, spokeswoman for the Corpus Christi Independent School District.
While medics are assigned to high school varsity football games in Texas, that is not the case with middle school games, Williams said. However, coaches are trained in first-aid and use of CPR and a defibrillator, she said. A defibrillator was used on Cameron at the field before he was taken to the hospital by ambulance, she said.
The eighth-grader at Paul R. Haas Middle School remained hospitalized in critical condition until his death Monday, Williams said.
The game resumed after Cameron was taken away but was later halted when the severity of his condition became apparent, Williams said.
The boy was unaware that he was allergic to ants, and the school district had no record of allergies for the boy, she said.
Williams said school administrators are receiving suggestions on ways to memorialize Cameron.
“Students and teachers have been wearing green and white ribbons with the number 66 on them,” said Williams, referring to Cameron’s jersey number and the colors for Haas Middle School.