FORT WORTH — An 18-year-old who was trying out for the varsity baseball team at Southwest High School died in a hospital Tuesday after complaining of congestion and difficulty breathing.
Ryan Powell was pronounced dead about 6:40 p.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s Web site. Powell complained of being uncomfortable about an hour after coming home from practice.
Powell’s parents called an ambulance, which took him to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, a relative said.
"They are calling it sudden cardiac death," said his mother, Rose Powell. "He never showed any evidence of heart problems."
Ryan Powell had also played football, but he dislocated his left shoulder during his junior year, then recovered, only to fracture his left knee, his mother said. Her son fought back from that injury and put most of his energy into making the baseball team.
Cheerleaders and members of the football and baseball teams converged at the hospital to be with the family, Rose Powell said. "It’s sad to see 18-year-olds lose friends," she said.
"No one knows what caused his death," said his baseball coach, Mike Thompson. "We will have to wait for the medical examiner’s office to tell us."
Ryan Powell planned to attend junior college after graduation, with the goal of transferring to the University of Texas at Austin.
His viable organs will be donated to LifeGift, Rose Powell said. It was always her son’s wish that his organs be put to good use should he die, she said.
"He had the two surgeries and never had a problem. His blood pressure and cholesterol were both pretty good. Maybe there was some underlying problem. I guess they will figure that out during the autopsy," she said.
MITCH MITCHELL- Star-Telegram.com
(my heart/prayers goes out to the family
...and the team)