A Detroit Northwestern High School student and boys’ basketball player died on Monday after collapsing on the court and going into cardiac arrest during his basketball game.
Cartier Woods, 18, was rushed to the Henry Ford Hospital on Jan. 31 and placed on life support. The 18-year-old’s aunt was his legal guardian and had to make the difficult decision to remove him from life support since his vitals weren’t improving; precisely, he wasn’t showing signs of life. While the life support process is to function for the body until it can gain control, it could be painful and deteriorate the person’s quality of life.
The Detriot Public Schools Community District confirmed Cartier’s death through a statement.
“It is with heavy hearts and deep sadness that we share that Cartier Woods has passed,” the DPSCD statement read. “The DPSCD community is heartbroken by this sudden and untimely loss. We deeply thank everyone who has provided their prayers and well wishes.”
Cartier’s cousin told Fox 2 Detroit that the family couldn’t understand where the cardiac issues came from since he was a healthy athlete who played basketball and football.
“He was very healthy — he loved basketball,” Shantell Woods, Cartier’s cousin, said. “He was very amenable, respectful. We’re just asking for prayer — we need it.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, Cartier told his coach, George Tyson, he felt dizzy three minutes into the game. After he collapsed, Tyson performed CPR while people prepared the automatic external defibrillator. EMS arrived and took over, placing Cartier into an ambulance and driving him to the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, where he was placed on life support, but his condition didn’t improve.
“He was a very good person,” Dwanda Woods, his aunt who adopted him, said. “He’d give anybody anything if he had it.”
The school held a candlelight vigil for Cartier last Friday before his death. Melanie Woods, Cartier’s sister and cousin, created a GoFundMe to help the family with medical expenses. The campaign is requesting $20,000 and has raised over $12,000.
The Mayo Clinic reported that “cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes,” noting that, although cardiac arrests happen without warning, there are signs for coaches and parents to look out for, including unexplained fainting, shortness of breath or chest pain or a family history of cardiac death.
The CDC reported that Blacks between 18 and 49 are twice as likely to die from heart disease than whites. With that in mind, please get these young kings and queens (athletic or not) checked out by a doctor.