A middle school student, 12, died after he collapsed while he ran in extreme heat during gym class on Tuesday as his family claimed he begged for water.
Yahshua Robinson, a student at Lake Middle School in Lake Elsinore, Calif., was allegedly forced to run when he wore the wrong clothes to gym class.
Robinson had complained of feeling ill before he collapsed, students in the boy’s class told his aunt Amarna Plummer, according to NBC Los Angeles.
“He was reaching out to the teacher, saying he needed some water,” Plummer told the outlet of her nephew’s final minutes alive.
Temperatures in Lake Elsinore reached a high of 97 degrees, according to the The Weather Channel.
While the boy ran with the intense California sun beating down on him, his aunt says he told the teacher and fellow students he “couldn’t breathe” before becoming unresponsive.
Emergency responders rushed to Robinson’s aid, transporting the boy about 10 miles from the school to Loma Linda University Medical Center – Murrieta, where he was pronounced dead at 12:55 p.m., Riverside Sheriff’s office said in a press release.
The 12-year-old’s grief-stricken family is now demanding answers following the child’s death.
“Why would you have a child in his clothes – he didn’t dress out – running a field?” Plummer questioned.
The boy’s aunt revealed Yahshua’s mother is a gym teacher at a neighboring district — and that same day, warned school officials about the intense heat.
“She informs the administration, ‘Do not let any children go out today for PE’ And what happened? She gets a call he passed out on the field,” Plummer told the outlet.
“This is terrible. It happened on somebody else’s watch,” Plummer shared, saying the family is devastated over the loss.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department confirmed they responded to the school after receiving a report of a minor needing medical aid and are investigating the tragic death, according to a statement released by the department.
“In this difficult moment, we are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of one of our students due to a medical emergency on one of our LEUSD campuses,” a statement by The Lake Elsinore Unified School District read.
“Our hearts are with the family, friends, and our school community.”
The new school year had just begun on Aug. 9.
The Canyon Lake Middle School is about 70 miles outside Los Angeles.
In a GoFundMe page set up by Plummer, she writes that “the void Yahshua leaves behind is profound” after he collapsed in the “sweltering heat.”
“Janae & Eric Robinson [Yahshua’s parents] and their three other children are trying to come to terms with this devastating reality. The agony of losing a child is indescribable, and as we wait with heavy hearts for the autopsy results, we are reminded of the unpredictability of life,” the post read.
As the family waits to receive the autopsy report determining Yahshua’s death, US Environmental Protection Agency experts have shared the dangers of heat-related illness in children
Most children have a smaller body mass ratio to surface area and are at greater risk for heat-related death than adults.
Children are also more susceptible to dehydration than adults because fluids leave their bodies faster in heat and when exercising, the organization also shared in their June report.
Flushed skin, deep breathing, little or no sweating, dizziness, fatigue, headache, or loss of consciousness are all signs of heatstroke — and if a child is believed to be suffering from the heat-induced illness, they should be placed in a cool environment and should seek medical attention.