A Pittsburgh-area teenager who collapsed during high school football practice earlier this week died of a rare heart tumor, an autopsy has revealed.
Noah Cornuet, 16, had been living with a right atrial myxoma, a noncancerous tumor that “would never be detected” during a routine checkup, Marty Coyne, a supervisor at the Allegheny County Office of the Medical Examiner, told ABC News.
The tumor was about the size of a "small orange" and broke off, blocking blood flow between the heart's chambers and preventing the heart from pumping blood to the rest of the body, Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams said.
"He was such a good boy," his mother, Pam Cornuet said, addressing a crowd at a candlelight vigil at Burrell High School Thursday night, according to ABC’s Pittsburgh affiliate WTAE. “He never hurt anyone and never would have. We are so proud of the child and young man he grew up to be, and we’re just mourning the loss of the life he would have had, because all we really wanted was for him to grow up and be a successful member of society."
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Noah collapsed Wednesday night at about 6 p.m. and was pronounced dead at Alleghany Valley Hospital about an hour later, according to the report.
Noah collapsed during conditioning training before any rigorous training started, and although paramedics were on hand, they could not save the rising sophomore, according to WTAE.
The state athletic association requires three days of conditioning drills to get high school players used to the high summer temperatures before allowing them to participate in contact drills.