The parents of a 6-year-old who collapsed at school, and later died, are looking for answers.
Hillsborough County Sheriff's officials say Jose Maria Pinto-Rosa, 6, complained of a headache, while in the Cypress Creek Elementary lunch room, around 11 Wednesday morning. A school employee took the child to the nurse's office.
"His situation deteriorated," said Hillsborough Schools spokesperson Steve Hegarty. "My understanding is he may have vomited and he just didn't look good. He may have collapsed and we called 911 got the ambulance out there very quickly."
Paramedics rushed the kindergartner to South Bay Hospital in Sun City, where he was later pronounced dead. Deputies say, based on preliminary information, there are no signs of foul play, and the child's death may be the result of medical issues.
"We believe that there were medical issues involved, but we don't have any indication that there was any infectious diseases involved," said Hillsborough Detective Larry McKinnon.
A few dozen relatives and friends gathered at Pinto-Rosa's Ruskin home Wednesday night. The boy's father, Victor Hugo-Pinto, spoke to News Channel 8 with help from a translator.
"He's saying that he's crushed and that nobody's gonna bring his son back," said Hugo-Pinto's translator.
Hugo-Pinto said his son appeared happy and healthy when he left for school Wednesday morning. A few hours later, he got a frantic phone call from someone at Cypress Creek Elementary.
"Whoever called him from school told him that the child was vomiting and that his nose was hurting," said Hugo-Pinto's translator.
Hugo-Pinto rushed to the school to find his son vomiting up blood in the nurse's office.
"He said he was trying to grasp for air, the little boy, and he was trying to grab him, you know, to help him and he said they took him out of the room," said Hugo-Pinto's translator.
Hugo-Pinto said his son did not have any medical issues. He wonders if he could have choked on his lunch in the cafeteria.
The Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy before ruling on a final cause of death. Detectives are also conducting interviews of school staff and family members. Grief counselors will be on the campus Thursday to talk with students and faculty.
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