13-year-old dies after collapsing during football practice in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (WTAE/CNN) - Days after his birthday, a 13-year-old boy died after he collapsed on a Pittsburgh football field during practice.

Laken Duckett says her 13-year-old son Jordan Duckett was her heart, and she is sad, hurt and even angry at losing him. She says he wasn’t feeling well Wednesday night, and she only agreed to allow him to observe his team’s football practice.

Jordan Duckett, 13, was entering the eighth grade at a new school. He had just started playing football with a new team when he died.
Jordan Duckett, 13, was entering the eighth grade at a new school. He had just started playing football with a new team when he died. (Source: Laken Duckett/WTAE/Hearst/CNN)

But Jordan ended up participating, and shortly after, he collapsed.

"He wasn't supposed to be playing. He was supposed to be on the bench,” Duckett said.

Not long after she dropped her son off at practice, Duckett got the phone call that he had collapsed on the field.

“They said he was moving his arm, shaking his arm, and said, ‘I don’t feel right.’ But nobody stopped him from playing football,” she said.

Duckett says by the time she made it to Jordan’s side, she knew he was in trouble.

"He was laying in the grass with tubes and things in him, and they were trying to do CPR. In my opinion, he looked lifeless when I got there. A mother knows,” she said.

Duckett says she had a panic attack and needed care, too. By the time she was able to follow Jordan to the hospital, her son had died.

"It’s hard, and I would say to any mother whose children play sports, ‘Know when too much is too much.’ I’m sad. My heart is broke,” she said.

Duckett says her son suffered from asthma and had just been put back on his medication.

The medical examiner will determine the 13-year-old’s cause of death, according to officials.

Duckett set up a fundraiser in Jordan’s name in order to raise money for funeral expenses. She received more than $15,000.

Copyright 2019 WTAE, Hearst, Laken Duckett via CNN. All rights reserved.