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11-year-old boy unconscious after going into cardiac arrest on soccer field

Published: Monday, Jan. 7 2013 6:19 p.m. MST

Eyistbeth Hernandez, Alan Zapata's mother, says her son doesn't have any pre-existing conditions. Doctors are running tests, but haven't given the family a cause for Zapata's cardiac arrest.

Mark Wetzel, Deseret News

PROVO — An 11-year-old boy remains unconscious after suffering cardiac arrest during an indoor soccer match.

Alan Zapata's teammates and coach said the boy had been playing well during Thursday's match, and they didn't notice that anything was wrong.

“He looked fine to me,” said teammate Candelario Arc. “He was playing very hard. He scored a lot of goals. He looked good.”

During the match, Alan asked to sit out because he had a headache, coach Ludwig Sanchez said.

"And then he went down, started breathing fast, and then suddenly stopped breathing at all," Sanchez said.

Alan had gone into cardiac arrest. Coaches performed CPR until paramedics arrived. He was taken to the emergency room before being airlifted to Primary Children's Medical Center.

Tests to figure out what caused the boy to go into cardiac arrest were scheduled to be performed, but no new information on his condition was available Monday night.

His mother, Eyistbeth Hernandez, said her son was very healthy prior to the soccer match. The family is still waiting to hear what caused Alan to collapse.

“I don’t have any words,” Hernandez said through a translator. “It's so difficult for a mom.”

"Now that I see him in bed, I just feel like I should have spent more time with him," said friend Benjamin Ortiz.

Because Alan's family doesn't have medical insurance, friends of the family have set up an account where people interested in helping pay for the boy's medical bills can donate. Donations can be made under the name "Utah Futbol Club Alan Zapata" at any Wells Fargo location.

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