A Clayton County student is recovering at home after being hospitalized for heat exhaustion during a softball game Thursday night.
Kaliyah Parks, a junior at Morrow High School, was playing catcher against Mount Zion High when she started feeling dizzy in the third inning, Channel 2 Action News reported.
"I was catching the ball. Next thing you know, I threw my helmet on the ground and that's all I remember," she told the news station.
Parks was rushed to Piedmont Henry Hospital, where doctors confirmed she suffered heat exhaustion.
Greg Ponder, the student’s father, said his daughter was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital.
"Her eyes were open, but she wasn't responsive for nothing,” he said, adding that Parks was out for about three hours.
The student said she told her coach it was too hot to play, especially while wearing all her catching gear.
The incident occurred just two days after another Clayton student — 16-year-old Imani Bell — died after collapsing during basketball practice on the hottest day of the year.
Bell, who attended Elite Scholars Academy in Jonesboro, was running up stadium steps when she collapsed just before 6 p.m., authorities said.
“Our firefighters found her unresponsive and began treatment,”Clayton County Fire Department Battalion Chief Laura Richardson said. “During transport to the hospital the patient became pulseless and stopped breathing.”
Paramedics were able to regain a pulse, but Bell was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Now, her family is wondering why the team was practicing outdoors on Atlanta’s hottest day in three years.
“She was a great kid, no problems, no issues, never got in trouble,” family spokesman Justin Miller said about Bell, who was the oldest of six children.
The Georgia High School Association, the state’s governing body for school sports,
prohibits outdoor workouts at a wet bulb globe temperature above 92 degrees.
Tuesday’s temperature reached 100.
“I’m deeply saddened by her passing,” Clayton County school board member Jessie Goree said after Bell’s death. “We’re protective of our students. Any parent who sends a child to school expects in the afternoon that you’re going to pick them up.”
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