Teen dies after collapsing during football game
Published Monday, September 10, 2012 6:38PM EDT
A 17-year-old boy has died after he collapsed during a St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School football game in Brampton.
Gene Odulio collapsed late in the game during a senior football game Friday evening.
Witnesses said there was no major hit in which Odulio was injured.
He was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital and he was taken off life support early Sunday morning.
St. Thomas Aquinas is known as a football school and it was getting the season underway with an exhibition game against Brantford on Friday.
When Odulio collapsed on the field, there were just nine minutes of play left in the fourth quarter.
The exact cause of Odulio’s death is unclear, but his passing has left the school in mourning.
Flags were lowered to half staff at St. Thomas Aquinas Monday, as well as at the elementary school Odulio attended.
At just 5’5”, Odulio was a small player, but friends said he was one of the best.
“He was just a tiny guy, but he was one of the best on the team,” said classmate Kiera Park.
Students were taking the news hard, said Park.
“Everyone seemed like a ghost, it was just like no one was mentally there, everyone was just thinking of Gene,” she said.
The school held prayer services for Odulio on Monday. The teen’s parents attended, as did his twin brother, who is also a student at St. Thomas Aquinas.
Parents also received a letter from the school.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene’s family, friends and indeed our entire St. Thomas Aquinas school community during this difficult time,” the letter read.
Teammates told CTV Toronto’s Zuraidah Alman that Odulio loved football and played throughout high school. He never missed a practice, teammates said.
Other students remembered Odulio as someone who was always smiling and had lots of friends.
“He was never frowning. He was always happy and if anyone had a bad thing to say about him, they’d be lying,” said classmate Dre Wallace.
Mourners took to Twitter on Monday after learning of Odulio’s death, using the hashtags #MeanGene and #RIPGene to express their condolences.
“It's crazy how this all happened. All my prayers go out to Gene and his family&friends #RIPGene God needs his angels,” said Twitter user Jasmine Ragual.
User Josh a Garcia remembered his classmate: “I remember having tons of laughs in Photography with Gene. Rest in peace pal, you're gone, but never forgotten,” he tweeted.
A funeral for Odulio is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 18.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Zuraidah Alman