High school football player dies after hard hit
By Associated Press
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A high school football player from Spokane Valley has died after suffering a blow to the head in a Friday night game.
Andrew Swank, 17, was in critical condition at Sacred Heart Medical Center after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. He died Sunday night, the hospital announced.
"Drew is now in heaven with God," said a statement issued by Valley Christian School, where Swank was a junior defensive back.
Valley Christian was playing Washtucna High School at Washtucna, south of Ritzville, on Friday. Team officials said Swank took a hard hit during the game, walked to the sideline and collapsed. He was airlifted to Sacred Heart in Spokane.
Swank is survived by his parents, four sisters and three brothers.
"His family loves him so much and is so appreciative of everyone's thoughts and prayers," the news release said. "Andrew is donating his organs so others' lives can be saved."
Washington has the toughest sports concussion law in the country - a measure passed by the Washington Legislature this spring. The Zackery Lystedt Law requires all athletes under the age of 18 who are suspected of having a concussion to get written consent from a licensed medical provider trained in evaluating concussions before returning to play.
More than 3.5 million sports-related concussions occur each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Brain Injury Association of Washington.