A Denham Springs High lineman who was hospitalized at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital after collapsing at the end of Tuesday’s football practice was transported to Children's Hospital of New Orleans on Wednesday afternoon.

According to Facebook posts by Lee Ann Watson, who identified herself as a family friend, on the Families for Louisiana High Schools Athletics & Extra-curricular Activities page, the junior suffered a heat stroke.

A statement released by the Livingston Parish Public Schools system Wednesday afternoon did not refer to the incident as heat stroke but described it as an incident that that happened near the end of practice. It said three athletic trainers immediately provided medical assistance and called 9-1-1. 

"The student’s name and health condition are not being released due to student-privacy and HIPAA laws, as well as respect for the family," the statement said. "Friends and community members are asked to keep the student and his family in their prayers at this time."

The player was transported to Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital, where he was treated and doctors worked to stabilize his condition.

Another Facebook post showed the player on a stretcher being loaded into a helicopter that included video of the helicopter taking off Wednesday afternoon. Social media also noted plans for a prayer service at the school's football stadium at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Watson asked for prayers for the player and his family. The post refers to the player as DSHS’ “teddy bear.”

“We are working through this,” Denham Springs football coach Brett Beard said via text. 

The original post also noted that the lineman was one of several DSHS players who attended the House Education Committee meeting held Sept. 4 at the State Capitol in support of high school athletics.

That meeting between the LHSAA and legislators led to the LHSAA’s move forward with plans to begin an eight-game football regular season that is set to begin Oct. 1-3.

On Wednesday evening, several hundred students from Denham Springs and neighboring districts gathered at the high school football stadium, holding candles and praying for the student.

His teammates described him as one of the strongest players on the team.

“He never gives up,” said sophomore and teammate Hayden Rushing. “We’re all here for him,” he added.

Staff writer Youssef Rddad contributed to this report.


Email Robin Fambrough at rfambrough@theadvocate.com