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Mother of 12-year-old boy who collapsed, died at N.J. football practice claims no one knew CPR, ambulance delayed

12-year-old collapses, dies at New Jersey football practice
12-year-old collapses, dies at New Jersey football practice 02:41

NEWARK, N.J. -- A heartbroken mother from Newark is demanding answers after her 12-year-old son collapsed and died during football practice. 

No one at the practice knew CPR and the ambulance was delayed, Raven Brown told CBS2. 

"I'm numb right now. I've been crying," said Brown.

Her oldest son, Elijah Jordan Brown-Garcia, died after he went to a youth football practice at West Side Park with his younger brother after school Friday. He had no prior health issues, Brown said. 

Elijah's brother called their mom after he collapsed. 

"He said they're throwing water on him and they're fanning him," said Brown. 

According to Brown, people on the field called 911 twice, and she called a third time and rushed over. An ambulance arrived about 30 to 40 minutes later, she said. 

Elijah was pronounced dead at University Hospital and the family is awaiting autopsy results, Brown told us. 

Brown said she asked the coach of the team, the Essex County Predators, why no one seemed to know what to do. 

"And he said none of us are CPR certified," said Brown. 

The coach has since pledged to get everyone CPR certified, Brown said. However, no team leaders or reps for the league, Big 21 based in Bloomfield, got back to us for comment. 

We reached out to the city of Newark for information on the alleged ambulance delay. A spokesperson referred us to the sheriff's office and then we were referred to the county prosecutor, who told us they are not investigating.

The city and sheriff would not comment. A hospital spokesperson told us they cannot comment due to protected health information. 

New Jersey schools are required to have defibrillators at practices and at least one person trained in CPR. But they are not required at private youth athletic events. 

In 2015, former Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have required them across in board. 

"Those coaches out there, they need to be CPR certified," said Brown. "He was a great kid, a great, amazing kid, and he didn't deserve this."

"He enjoyed playing football. He enjoyed dancing. He was a big brother to his siblings," said Zeneida Garcia, Elijah's aunt. 

A memorial and balloon release for Elijah is being planned for Saturday at the field. 

According to the American Heart Association, just eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive. But immediate CPR from a bystander can double or even triple the chances of survival. 

Click here for more information on heart health.

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