In a tragic story out of Las Vegas, 18-year-old Jordan Brister died suddenly after experiencing cardiac arrest, as Fox News reports, the second death of a similar nature in the local area this month.
Brister was reportedly found unresponsive in a bathroom following gym class at Amplus Academy, where he was a student, and he sadly died in the hospital several days later.
According to a statement released by the school, upon discovering Brister in the restroom, on-site staff “provided Jordan with emergency medical attention until paramedics arrived and transported him to Southern Hills Hospital.”
However, the statement continued, “[d]espite the efforts of first responders and the medical team at the hospital, Jordan passed away this past Sunday.”
As Las Vegas Fox affiliate KVVU reported, Brister was an organ donor and was able to provide the gift of life to others once it became clear he could not be saved.
In honor of that generosity, in a ceremony known as an “honor walk,” staff at Southern Hills Hospital lined the hallways as Brister was taken to an operating room where his organs would be retrieved.
Dr. Shahid Ahmad, who was present for the solemn procession, explained, “God knows how many thousands and thousands of people every day are fighting for their lives. Anytime an organ is donated, it helps change the track of someone's life. He gets to live on in these individuals whose lives are impacted and saved.”
Brister will also live on in the memories of the friends and family left to mourn his passing, including his father, who declared the staff at Southern Hills Hospital to be “family.”
Savanna Brister, mother to Jordan, issued a statement in memory of her son in which she described him as “a selfless, respectful, Southern gentleman who was kind to everyone.”
“He was witty and charming. He wanted to join the military to become a para rescue jumper to save others. In the end, he saved others through donation of organs, so his dream was somewhat fulfilled,” she added.
Mrs. Brister concluded her tribute to the late teen by saying, “He was a wise, older brother who cared deeply for his brother and sister. Jordan was truly everything you could ask for and more. He had a heart of gold.”
Unfortunately, Brister's death was not the only sudden, fatal cardiac event to befall a Las Vegas area teen early this month, as 16-year-old Ashari Hughes collapsed following a flag football game, and despite an emergency response that included chest compressions, the use of an external defibrillator, and intubation, died later the same night, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Marilyn Barnes, the mother of one of Hughes' flag football teammates, paid tribute to the deceased girl, saying, “On the field she was a beast. She put her heart into that game, every game she played. Off the field she was so bubbly. She always had a smile on her face.”
Surely echoing the sentiments of every sports parent who has recently seen stories like those of Brister and Hughes, Barnes poignantly observed, “It's very scary because at the end of the day, we think of sports as a sport. We all have plans on what happens after the game, get the family home, have dinner...[y]ou just never think on that field or court that's their last moment.”