By Associated Press - Thursday, December 6, 2018

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) - A football player who collapsed after the first day of practice at his western Kansas community college died from heat stroke, according to an autopsy report.

Braeden Bradforth, 19, was found unconscious by an athletic trainer outside his Garden City Community College dorm room on Aug. 1. He died that night at a hospital. He was from Neptune, New Jersey

The team’s coach at the time, Jeff Sims, has said an emergency room doctor told him he suspected Bradforth died from a blood clot, The Wichita Eagle reported. But an autopsy report filed last week blamed the death on exertional heat stroke.

The report noted that the 300-pound (136 kilogram) lineman was vomiting after practice and had a history of asthma. He died about one and a half hours after practice ended, according to the autopsy report.

The report, filed in Finney County District Court last week, shows doctors ruled out a blood clot as the cause of death because they found no evidence of pulmonary thromboembolism.

Bradforth was a defensive lineman out of Neptune High School who arrived in Kansas on July 30. His mother, Joanne Atkins Ingram, told NJ Advance Media that she plans to sue Garden City Community College.

“I hold the whole school liable,” she told the news outlet. “It’s bittersweet. I’m glad to know the truth, but it doesn’t bring him back.”

The temperature on the day of practice was in the 80s with humidity. The practice, which consisted of conditioning drill, ended about 9:30 p.m.

Bradforth didn’t attend the team meeting after practice. The athletic trainer later found him unconscious outside his dorm room. A bystander said he had been vomiting and appeared to be choking, according to the autopsy.

“He had a great day and great attitude and was focused on things he needed to be successful in school and football,” Sims previously told The Eagle. “Braeden was excited and a guy with a bounce in his steps.”

School administrators are conducting an internal review of the circumstances of his death. Spokeswoman Ashley Salazar said the college is aware of the autopsy findings but isn’t commending because decisions about a cause of death “and contributing factors are best left to medical experts.”

She added: “The college does not have a comment about the family’s intent to take legal action, other than that Braeden’s family must do whatever they believe is in their best interest to pursue.”

Sims is leaving Garden City to be coach at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. The Broncbusters lost the Nov. 29 national championship game to East Mississippi by one point.

Bradforth is the second Garden City Community College football player to die in the past two years. Sean Callahan, 19, a sophomore offensive lineman out of Gardner Edgerton, died at a home in Kismet in May 2017 of what the Seward County Sheriff’s Office called natural causes.


Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle,

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