‘We Are Dealing With The End Right Now’ | Adopted Long Island High School Football Player, Robert Bush, Dies This Afternoon After Collapsing On Field Earlier This Week

Seventeen-year-old Newfield High School football player Robert Bush was fighting on life support before passing away on Friday afternoon, Newfield High School administrators told The Shadow League.

Bush collapsed on the field during conditioning drills earlier this week.

“There’s no more brain function,” his brother Steve Bush said Thursday, July 6, adding that the teen was on life support. “We are dealing with the end right now.”

The school sent out a pre-recorded phone message to all students and family about the unfortunate turn of events and is planning a memorial walk at Stony Brook University Hospital. Bush reportedly is donating his organs.

“It is with a heavy heart that I call to inform you of the passing of our beloved Robert Bush,” said Newfield principal Scott Graviano. “The family has informed me that Robert would be donating his organs and as a result there will be an honor walk in Robert’s memory tonight at Stony Brook Memorial Hospital. The family has requested that our entire Newfield community be invited.

The honor walk, Graviano said, will start between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. EST.

According to reports, coaches performed CPR and shocked Bush with a defibrillator. The emergency medical teams rushed him to nearby Stony Brook University Hospital, but the teenager went without blood or oxygen to his brain for at least 45 minutes.

It is unclear what caused the teenager to collapse on the field. But the New York area has been dealing with heavy humidity, heat and poor air quality over the last week. His family suggested that he might have had a hereditary condition that thickens the walls of the heart’s left ventricle. Over time, this stops the heart from getting or pumping enough blood during each heartbeat.

Incident Could Enter Sports Safety Debate

This incident, like others similar in nature, likely will find its way to some sort of debate regarding the safety of football and sometimes the sudden death of otherwise seemingly healthy young people playing the sport.  

It is unclear what, if any, additional precautions Newfield High School football will take during summer practices in the wake of this tragedy.

The family said Robert was undersized for a football player, but took inspiration from the film “Rudy” — the 1993 film about a college football walk-on whose dream was to play at Notre Dame.

“He’s a shorter kid, so we always told him, ‘You’re like the Rudy,’ ” Steve said.

The Bushs Are A Large Family

Bush was part of a larger adopted family. His parents Robert and Patricia adopted him when he was a baby. The couple had fostered more than 300 children, and Bush had 10 siblings in ages ranging from 16 to 56 years old, according to Steve.

Robert was taught how to play football by another brother, Chris.

“He was always trying to get better and better because he was never a tall guy,” Chris said, adding that his brother had operated with “the motivation of 50 guys.”

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