Teen Athlete Dies Suddenly
Many in the Alameda community were left confused last Tuesday, May 17, following the sudden death of an Encinal High School student.
Giovanni Pulido, 15, collapsed following Encinal High’s spring football conditioning drills on the Encinal campus. Pulido, who was a month away from completing his freshman year, was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead around 7 p.m. that evening.
Pulido’s teammates said they witnessed the athlete fall to the ground. Numerous teammates said Pulido expressed he was uncomfortable due to the heat and was not drinking water before he collapsed.
The exact cause of death is still unknown. It can take up to 30 days for the Alameda County Coroner’s Office to learn the exact cause, according to a spokesperson. However, members of Pulido’s family believe dehydration was the cause.
“We were informed by several people that he kept asking for water,” his family said in a statement issued by Pulido’s uncle, Sergio Mejia-Navarro, to the East Bay Times. “And I guess the team only gets one water break. Which if it’s true, it’s not right. They could have prevented this.”
The statement also said Pulido had no previous health issues or heart problems.
The Alameda Unified School District Superintendent Sean McPhetridge released a statement last Wednesday.
“Our thoughts and our hearts are very much with this young man’s family, friends, teammates and classmates,” said McPhetridge in the statement. “This is a deep loss to the Encinal community and our Alameda community at large.”
Encinal Principal Kirsten Zazo said grief counselors were made available to help students at Encinal get through the unfortunate tragedy.
Many family, friends and teammates described Pulido as a well-liked person with a great sense of humor. The family has set up a GoFundMe page at www.gofundme.com/24xbewvs to help with funeral expenses.