Bitten by fire ants: 13-year-old Cameron Espinosa died four days after he suffered a severe allergic reaction from being attacked by fire ants on the football field of Paul R. Haas Middle School on Corpus Christi, Texas.
The incident, which occurred during a football game, sparked outrage among parents and school district officials.
According to reports, Espinosa was in a huddle with his teammates on the field when he began yelling, "Ants! Ants! Ants!" His coach told him to rinse off the insects with a water bottle, which he did. However, Espinosa soon collapsed and was rushed to the Driscoll Children's Hospital.
The game continued after Espinosa was taken away, but was once again halted after the severity of his condition was made known.
The student was placed in a medically induced coma to reduce the swelling in his brain, and died four days late on Sunday (September 15).
Parents say the ant problem is pervasive, and that something should have been done about it sooner. Meanwhile, Espinosa's mother, Josephine Limon, told local media that had there been more trained medical personnel at the time of the incident, her son may still be alive.
"It's been devastating to lose my baby that way," she said, adding that Espinosa had already started the recruiting process to play college football. She has also hired a lawyer.
Corpus Christi Independent School District board member Hector Salinas said he has inspected the school football field and personally saw more than 20 ant piles. Salinas said he intends to inspect all of the district's athletic fields before students will be allowed to play on them.
Meanwhile, school district officials have released a statement saying all extracurricular activities at Haas have been cancelled, and that every middle school field has been treated with insecticide.
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