Ryan Plowman: High school soccer star dies from mono days after helping team win regional title
PALOS HEIGHTS, ILLINOIS: A high school soccer star's unexpected death over the weekend has left his community heartbroken. Ryan Plowman, 17, died at the Comer Children’s Hospital from complications of mononucleosis. A report by Fox 32 Chicago said that Plowman played as a center-back for Shepard High School. He had just competed in the state playoffs and had assisted his team to win the 3A regional title in October.
However, things started going downhill in the days that followed. Plowman soon developed a severe case of sore throat and was admitted to a hospital. On Saturday, November 5, he succumbed to his illness and was taken off life support. He had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease two years ago.
"He was perfect, he was a great student," said Dan Plowman, father of the deceased. "He was extremely hard-working. If he started to do something, he was going to succeed at it." He added, "He was my everything. I told him he was my everything the day before he really got sick." Reflecting on what his son went through, Dan said, "It went from being better to absolutely horrific in a matter of minutes.”
"Don’t take life for granted. Hug your children, love your children. You don’t know, tomorrow’s not promised," Jen Plowman, Ryan’s mom, said. "Loving and caring, genuine. He would always put others first.”
The family is now honoring their son’s memory by sharing the light that Ryan was in their lives. A vigil is taking place at Shepard High's stadium, open for anyone who wants to pay tribute to him and his life.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money to help the family cover medical costs, lost wages, and funeral expenses. The page said, “Everyone loved him instantaneously. It was Ryan’s good attitude and likable personality that drew the multitude of family and friends to be by his side at Comer Children’s Hospital for a week as he courageously fought mononucleosis.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website says mono is common among teenagers. “Infectious mononucleosis, also called “mono,” is a contagious disease," the website states. "Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the most common cause of infectious mononucleosis, but other viruses can also cause this disease. It is common among teenagers and young adults, especially college students. At least one out of four teenagers and young adults who get infected with EBV will develop infectious mononucleosis.”