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Youth Boys Jul 22, 2011

Massachusetts boy collapses, dies at summer soccer camp

A 12-year-old Massachusetts boy died on Monday morning after collapsing in the midst of a drill at a soccer camp in Holden, Mass., providing another stark reminder of the dangers of training in hot summer weather.

Joshua Thibodeau was dribbling through a set of cones at the Zalgiris Soccer Camp, held at Wachusett Regional High School in Boston’s western suburbs, when he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but passed away an hour later. His older brother was also at the camp, saw Joshua fall and notified his parents, who later issued a statement thanking first responders and hospital personnel for their efforts.

The Zalgiris camp, which is run by three local high school soccer coaches, cancelled the remainder of Monday’s activities but resumed on Tuesday. Officials said that physical activities were of light intensity and water breaks were given, with Thibodeau’s group having had such a break just before he passed out.

Camp participants are required to have undergone a physical exam within the past year. Thibodeau’s record apparently contained no pre-existing conditions, but an autopsy is being conducted to learn more.

In commenting on the tragedy, medical experts urge parents to put their children through athlete’s physicals regularly in order to discover potentially deadly heart and lung problems like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart muscle condition which is a leading cause of such incidents.