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Who was Robert Bush? Long Island high school footballer, 17, taken off life support after suffering 'cardiac event' during practice

Robert Bush was induced into a coma after his coaches were unable to revive him by using CPR and a defibrillator
Robert Bush's family announced that his organs would be donated (GoFundMe)
Robert Bush's family announced that his organs would be donated (GoFundMe)

LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK: A 17-year-old high school football player from Long Island has been taken off life support after suffering a "cardiac event" during a practice session. Robert Bush, of Selden, had been on the field for only around four minutes during the school's intramural summer sports program when he suddenly collapsed on Monday, July 3.

Robert's coaches desperately tried to revive him by giving him CPR and shocking him with a defibrillator, to no avail. The 5-foot-6-inch tall lineman was immediately rushed to Stony Brook Hospital, where he was induced into a coma. His family revealed that he was taken off life support on Friday, July 7, so his organs could be donated, as reported by CBS New York. The cause of the high school student's abrupt collapse is still unknown, but his family members speculated that he may have had an unknown hereditary condition affecting his heart.


Who was Robert Bush?

Adopted as an infant, Robert was one of 10 children in the Bush family. His sibling, Steve Bush, told CBS that their family had fostered over 300 children and revealed that their mother, Patricia Bush, died from cancer in 2017 and that their father was currently suffering from severe medical issues. Notably, Robert had just started playing football in addition to riding and walking to improve his health. The Bush family expressed that despite not being a natural athlete, he possessed the "motivation of 50 guys" on the pitch.


Meanwhile, Robert's cousin has expressed concern about the training program's safety demands. "As an athletic trainer myself, we've got to make sure we are advocating for medical professionals for these kids. Practice, conditioning, it doesn't matter. Someone needs to be there. Could have made the difference," Joshua Bush said. "It's just tough," stated another of Robert's cousins, Jessica Noren, to ABC outside the hospital, adding, "It's hard because he's such a good kid and he doesn't deserve any of this." Robert's brother said the family would jokingly refer to him as "Rudy" in reference to the short-statured Notre Dame player Rudy Ruettiger because the 17-year-old was not very tall. 


'He is truly the most amazing person'

"He was always trying to get better and better because he was never a tall guy," said Chris, another sibling of Robert. Jennifer Marie, who said her son was the 17-year-old's closest friend, wrote, "He is truly the most amazing person I have ever known, he has so much ambition, a heart of gold, and a charismatic personality everyone is drawn to. We have always loved him and treated him like a second son, so this tragic situation is heartbreaking to us," in a Facebook post. At the time of writing, a fund-raiser organized to support the Bush family has managed to raise more than $23,399 even though the initial goal was $20,000.