School rugby player collapses, dies

2017-04-12 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedAwande Mkhize died last week after collapsing during a rugby match at Alexandra High School.

PHOTO: suppliedAwande Mkhize died last week after collapsing during a rugby match at Alexandra High School.

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POST-MORTEM results indicate that 16-year-old Awande “Chopper” Mkhize, who died after collapsing at a rugby match last week, suffered heart failure.

This was revealed by family spokesperson Nhlanhla Jila who said the family received the results last Friday.

Awande, a Grade 11 pupil at Haythorne Secondary, collapsed and died last Wednesday during a rugby match at Alexandra High.

Jila said the family is very distraught and are still trying to come to terms with the tragedy.

“He was a healthy boy who loved his sport and was always fit. He didn’t report any illnesses nor has he ever had seizures before, so his death was a shock.”

Jila said according to Awande’s older brother, Lwethu, who was with him on the field, he [Awande] was rushed to MediClinic Hospital after collapsing amid the game.

“He said his brother collapsed 10 minutes before the game ended and the referee tried performing CPR on him but his condition seemed to be deteriorating and paramedics were called in. He was placed on a ventilator and then rushed to the hospital.”

Jila said upon arrival at the hospital his condition was declared critical and doctors tried resuscitating him, but unfortunately, nothing more could be done for him and he was declared dead.

“His parents usually attend the rugby games to offer support, but on Wednesday they couldn’t because his dad had just been discharged from hospital following a head operation. They were devastated when they received the call that Awande was in hospital.”

Jila said Awande’s death was especially difficult for his brother, who was his best friend.

“They were always together; you wouldn’t see one without the other. They had a silent way of communicating; a bond only brothers could share. It is especially difficult for Lwethu because he saw his brother die before his eyes.

“It hasn’t quite sunk in that Awande is gone. Reality will hit once relatives and everyone is gone and he has to go to school alone.”

Awande played hooker and wore jersey number two. He had also been selected to join the KZN Midlands rugby team.

“He had a bright future in rugby and had represented the Midlands in various tournaments,” said Jila.

Haythorne Secondary School also expressed their sadness on the school’s Facebook page following Awande’s death.

“He was very popular and we are saddened and shocked by his death. May our Lord bless and comfort the Mkhize family during this time of grief,” read the post.

Awande will be buried on Saturday at the Mountain Rise cemetery following a funeral service at Life Bible Church International on Archie Gumede Drive at 9am.

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