January 29, 2004
Report shows FSDB student who died had heart problem
From: St. Augustine Record, FL - Jan 29, 2004
By BRYAN NOONAN
The preliminary autopsy report for the 17-year-old who collapsed and died at wrestling practice Monday evening showed he had a bad heart, according to the Medical Examiner's Office.
Esdras D'Haiti, a student who commuted to the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind from Miami each week, "suffered a fatal cardiac arrhythmia due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy," the report said.
According to the report, the disease causes the heart to "increase massively in size."
The report said "although rare, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is often seen in young athletes who collapse unexpectedly."
The disease is not detectable by a physical examination or electrocardiogram, the report said.
In talking to the medical examiner, the school learned that nothing could have been done to save D'Haiti, according to Kathy Gillespie, public information director at FSDB. "He said that anything that could have been done was done," she said.
D'Haiti's funeral in Miami is still being arranged, Gillespie said. She said the school honored their fallen peer by having a memorial service Wednesday afternoon. "It was a period of shared memories," she said.
D'Haiti, a junior in the deaf department, had ambition to become a chef and was working toward taking culinary arts courses after he got his diploma, Gillespie said.
He played football and was a wrestler. He died minutes after he had wrestled another student and went to the sideline to watch others practice, she said.
All home sporting events at the school were cancelled Tuesday night "out of respect for the family," Gillespie said.
She said the football team got D'Haiti's helmet Wednesday and members have been autographing it. They plan to send it off to his family.
Though it must be difficult for the wrestling team, Gillespie said it is expected to compete this weekend in Maryland.
"They're going to dedicate their wrestling to him," she said.
Â© The St. Augustine Record