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Eastwood Heights Elementary student collapses on playground, dies

A second grade student died Tuesday after collapsing on the playground at Eastwood Heights Elementary. Photo courtesy of Google Earth.

A second-grade student died Tuesday after collapsing on a playground during lunch, district officials said.

A spokesperson for the Ysleta Independent School District said the Eastwood Heights Elementary School student collapsed on the playground and was immediately transported to the hospital, where he later died.

The district said a school nurse performed CPR on the 9-year-old before emergency crews arrived. The student's identity has not been released.

“The Ysleta Independent School District is heartbroken over the tragic loss of the student. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Eastwood Heights community,” the district said. “Grief counselors are currently onsite at Eastwood Heights Elementary School to help students and staff as needed.”

Eastwood Heights Elementary is located at 10530 Janway Drive in east El Paso.

Wednesday, staff members held a meeting before school to discuss how to address the loss of the young boy with students.

"Many of them are so young they've never experienced anything like this. So this is new to them and we want them to know that it's OK to have those feelings and don't try to suppress the feelings, and if you're not feeling good we've got counselors here to sit and talk to you," Pat O'Neill, YISD chief operations officer, said.

Ceresmi Silva said her daughter came home with the sad news.

"I got worried because this has happened to my kid before and I got nervous. I was just praying for the little kid and the parents," Silva said.

Having a conversation with young children about death can be difficult but Silva said it's important to be open with them and help them understand.

For Jannely Vilchis, the alarm that went off that day in school appeared to be a typical fire drill.

"I heard the alarms and I thought it was a fire drill, but I heard it was a case of emergency. The teacher told me that a kid fell. It was a friend of mine. My teacher said he fell and bumped his head," Jannely said. "He's nice, he likes to play football. He was a good friend and was always there for me."

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