A 16-year-old girl died suddenly during a high school flag football game in the south Las Vegas Valley on Thursday.
Ashari Hughes collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest during a home game against Valley High School.
Staff performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but they were unable to save her.
“Staff immediately began providing medical aid and continued until paramedics arrived,” Principal Ian Salzman said in an email sent to students’ families. “It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that the student passed away.”
Ashari was a sophomore at Desert Oasis High School. Her parents, Enttroda and Twayne Hughes, were in the stands when she collapsed.
They told FOX5 that Ashari had been experiencing ongoing heart problems and they were consulting with a cardiologist. A doctor cleared Ashari to play in the game.
The family said she began experiencing chest pain during the game and she went to the sideline to take a break when she collapsed.
Registered nurse Aphelia Phifer-Hill rushed onto the field to perform CPR on Ashari, who was her daughter’s teammate.
“Today was the first time ever, in my 26 years of nursing that I had to do CPR on a kid,” she posted on Facebook. Phifer-Hill did not respond to a reporter’s request for comment.
Ashari’s parents described her as “passionate” and “fun loving”. “She loved music, dancing, and being around all the people she loved,” they wrote in a statement. “She called football the real love of her life!”
The family created a GoFundMe page to pay for her funeral expenses.
Salzman said a crisis response team was available for any students or staff who needs grief counseling.
“The school and the entire district mourn the loss of this young life,” he wrote in the email.
Ashari’s death drew comparison’s to Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin who suffered a cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game on Jan. 2.
Not to sound insensitive but I have not heard about young #AshariHughes #RIP?? on repeat like our brother ?@HamlinIsland?
Where is the concern for our youth?
Student collapses, dies during flag football game at Desert Oasis High School #NewsBreak https://t.co/qU3f0Lxi4D
— Hawk Rising (@Hawk_Rising) January 6, 2023
Those that are praying for #DamarHamlin please continue to #prayforHamlin but please #prayforHughes. Ashari Hughes #diedsuddendly last night during her class football game at #DesertOasisHighSchool She was 16. #CCSD & her family need our prayers @NFL @nflnetwork #AshariHughes
— ??soccervegasmom? (@soccervegasmom) January 6, 2023