News – Wrestler dies after a big win

5 Feb

Silverton, Oregon – A 17 year old wrestler for Dallas High School in Oregon died of a heart abnormality. 

Charley “Chaz” Engelfried, 17, fell to the mat as he walked toward his team’s bench just after winning a junior-varsity match Thursday night. About 300 people had crowded into the Silverton gym to watch the meet.

An autopsy revealed that Engelfried had a heart condition.

“The two wrestlers shook hands, the Dallas wrestler (Engelfried) came over and shook the Silverton coach’s hand and turned to go back to his teammates and collapsed,” said Eric Swenson, assistant superintendent of Silver Falls School District.

Silverton’s athletic trainer quickly responded and used an AED, an automatic external defibrillator, on the student, Swenson said. Paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital.

“It was a few hours later that he was pronounced dead at Silverton Hospital,” Swenson said.

This is the toughest thing that an athletic trainer can ever face – death of an athlete.  The reports seem to indicate that the athletic trainer did everything within their scope of practice to save this young man’s life.  The school had provided the services of an ATC and had provided the ATC with an AED.  It seems everything was done correctly to save a life if it could be saved.  The right personnel and the right equipment were on hand and responded within seconds, but still it was sadly not enough.  I am thankful that the school had provided every modern tool available, but I am heartbroken that it wasn’t enough.

To the ATC at Silverton, I know what you are going through, I was unsuccessful in saving a young boy’s life who was struck by a car just a few feet in front of me.  The accident happened on the road along side of football practice and I was the first person to tend to the grim scene.  The parents, even in their deep sorrow of losing a son, were very grateful to know that there was someone there within seconds to do everything possible to save their sons’ life.  While it may not seem like much to offer the parents, at least they know that everything was done that could be done within seconds for their son.


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