Boy dies after collapsing during track-club meeting at Miami Northwestern Senior High

Kaleb Harris,11, collapses on field, family says

MIAMI – An 11-year-old boy collapsed Wednesday while preparing to warm up at an after-school track-club meeting.  

Susie Pounds, the child's grandmother, identified him as Kaleb Harris, who was a sixth-grade student at Florida International Academy charter school in Opa-locka.

The medical emergency took place at Miami Northwestern Senior High School. Pounds said Harris' mother was sitting in the stands and his sister, 7, was on the track when he began to seize and then collapsed twice.

Several people rushed to Harris' aid at the school, but when firefighters arrived, they found that he had no pulse and was not breathing, Miami Department of Fire-Rescue Capt. Ignatious Carroll said.

Harris was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead hours after his collapse. 

Pounds told Local 10 News reporter Erika Rakow that her grandson had no previous heart conditions or other health issues of which she was aware.

According to family members, Harris had recently started track but previously played football and was an active child.

"We just have a real void right now, a big loss -- a very talented, smart, bright, loving, caring, compassionate, considerate young man -- that was my grandson Kaleb," Pounds said. "If I didn't hear from anybody else, Kaleb checked on me every week on the regular."

Kaleb's coach, Carol Hardemon, said the Metro Dade Track Club has been around since 1969 and nothing like this has ever happened.

She said Kaleb participated in a warm-up jog and collapsed. She said he had gotten up before collapsing again.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho offered his condolences Wednesday to the Harris' family. 

"No deeper pain than suffering (sic) loss of one's child," he said in a message on Twitter. "Tonight, we mourn alongside the family of a boy who passed away during track practice."

Kaleb's classmates and staff at Florida International Academy are heartbroken by his death. The flag at the school was lowered Thursday in his memory.

Kaleb's principal recalled to Local 10 a conversation she had with him earlier in the day before he died.

"He asked me when am I going to do a field trip for them, and I said, 'Well, you just have to give me a good score on that FSA and we'll go anywhere you want to go. And he says, 'OK, Mrs. Mitchell. I promise," Sonia Mitchell said. "That was yesterday morning."

Relatives said Kaleb had dreams of becoming a pastor and loved to go to church with his siblings and his cousins.

They said they are awaiting the autopsy results to find out what caused Kaleb to collapse.

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