DRAPER — The tight-knit community of Juan Diego Catholic High School was left reeling Wednesday after learning that a 16-year-old student had succumbed to complications from a fall and electrical shock suffered 10 days before.
"This is our first-ever currently enrolled student to pass away, and that has profoundly impacted our community," school spokeswoman Molly Dumas said of the death of Adam Colosimo.
But none felt the loss more fully and completely than the teenager's family.
"He was a great young man who left us way too young and too early," uncle John Colosimo, who is the school's football coach, said Wednesday. "We're all just in shock."
The teen died Tuesday afternoon, 10 days after he slipped while climbing a ladder and came into contact with an electric current, which sent a charge through his body, Colosimo said. The football and basketball player had just completed his sophomore year at the school.
"He was a great competitor — a tough kid," Colosimo said. "He was the starting point guard as a sophomore and contributed greatly to the football team. He was a good athlete. He was able to score a touchdown in our first playoff game last year and helped us win that game. … Above all else he was just a great kid. He had a great heart."
The messages about his June 30 accident came out urgently and frequently through social media, giving thanks, offering information and asking for prayers. Most entries were punctuated with the Twitter hashtags #prayforadam and #prayforhim.
A final entry on a website set up for Adam by his family was posted on July 10, informing friends and loved ones of the teen's death.
"Adam Colosimo, friend, cousin, nephew, grandson and an incredible young man, passed away today at approximately 3:45 p.m. There are no words to express our sorrow. Thank you all for your prayers, thoughts and comments. His passing leaves a huge hole in the Juan Diego community and the Colosimo family. May his soul rest in peace."
John Colosimo said Adam was with two of his cousins in Draper when he slipped on a ladder, bringing his leg into contact with a charged fascia that sent an electric current through his leg.
Unified Fire Capt. Lee Ascarte said the teenagers were on the roof of a strip mall located on 12300 South between 500 and 600 East at the time. The call came in reporting a possible electrocution around midnight, and crews cut power to the building before sending men to the roof.
Ascarte said there was a parapet wall on the building that was lined with metal flashing, which could have conducted an electrical current. Adam's cousins told officials there was, in fact, electricity that they could feel coming from the wall.
After he was shocked, Adam's cousins pulled him onto the roof and began CPR until police and paramedics arrived, who were able to revive Adam before he was transported to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray.
Colosimo said there was a prayer service at the Juan Diego grotto soon after word got out about the accident and included supporters from Adam's family, school and students who had once competed against him. Those rallying for his nephew literally overran the hospital waiting room trying to visit him, he said.
"All of that certainly has been an inspiration and comfort to the family, there's just a hole in our hearts right now with his passing," Colosimo said. "Our sorrow is not unique, but it does touch us, and we appreciate the outpouring of love and support we've gotten."
The family posted updates on the #prayforadam website daily, sometimes multiple times, starting July 2. Just days later Adam was able to recognize family members and was able to raise his arm for a "fist bump," family members said.
Doctors indicated on July 4 that they didn't think Adam had suffered any brain damage, but the family reiterated that his would be a "long up-and-down recovery" process.
His father, Larry Colosimo, wrote one post, thanking those who had prayed for his son and noting that Adam was having problems with his lungs.
"Adam is slowly getting better," Larry Colosimo wrote. "They have him heavily sedated, and every time he comes out of sedation, he is fighting the nurses, throwing elbows, knees and whatever he can to try and get out of that bed."
John Colosimo said his nephew's toughness showed through from the hospital bed.
"He battled through, but it almost worked against him a little bit that he was so athletic and tough, because he would get up and thrash around a bit and that wasn't good for his lungs," he said.
Dumas said it was a combination of acute respiratory distress and a blood clot that made its way to Adam's heart that killed the teenager.
Upon news of Adam's death, the school's Twitter feed invited all to come and join in a prayer service for him at the grotto on the school's campus, an event that brought about 1,000 people out Tuesday evening.
Galey Colosimo, another of Adam's uncles, is the school's principal, and Dumas said the Colosimo family is a leader in the Juan Diego community and was instrumental in its 1999 opening. To Dumas, Adam embodied the three things the school stands for — community, academics and faith.
"He was a humble kid, a good student, kind," Dumas said, before recounting a story told Tuesday by Galey Colosimo. "Adam was a pretty spiritual kid. They'd go on vacation, and Adam would be looking for the local church. Most teenagers wouldn't be looking for that on vacation."10 comments on this story
John Colosimo said Adam was a 4.0 student who was a good son to his parents and a typical older brother to his younger sister, teasing her and giving her nicknames.
"Everyone just thought he was a good kid," he said. "He was a friend to everybody. As good an athlete as he was, no one ever thought he was cocky. He had a tremendous smile. … The good ones die young. He was taken from us way too young, way too early and we're grieving."
The family will have a reception at St. John the Baptist Church, 300 E. 11800 South, from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, followed by a prayer service and recitation of the rosary. A funeral Mass will be held for Adam Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, followed by interment at Larkin Sunset Gardens Cemetery in Sandy.