An 18-year-old Virginia Union University football player, Quandarius Wilburn, died during a preseason football practice after suffering an acute sickle cell crisis, according to a report from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound defensive end from Wardley, Georgia, had recently graduated from Jefferson County High School in Louisville, Georgia. He is currently in his freshman year at Virginia Union University.
According to Wayne Epps and John O’ Connor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch report, the freshman collapsed at Hovey Stadium, the school’s on-campus football stadium. He was immediately taken by ambulance to VCU Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The player had spent the entire day with the football team before his death. He had eaten breakfast, gone to church, and had lunch just before practice, according to the letter sent to students and staff by the university’s president.
The chief medical officer’s central district administrator, Lakeshia Johnson, ruled a few days after the event that the cause of death was natural.
“The manner of death is natural and the cause of death is acute sickle cell crisis in the setting of sickle cell trait (hemoglobin S gene heterozygosity), physical exertion, and elevated environmental temperature.
Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch