Parents speak about death of 6-year-old Jose Maria Pinto-Rosa, who got sick at school

8:04 AM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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Jose Maria Pinto-Rosa passed away after collapsing at Cypress Creek Elementary on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013.
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RUSKIN, Florida - The parents of a little boy who got sick at school and later died at an area hospital are speaking about it. Jose Maria Pinto-Rosa was a kindergartner at Cypress Creek Elementary School, along the 4000 block of 19th Avenue NE.

Jose's father, Victor Hugo Pinto, said he is crushed about his son's death.

"He was a good kid. A happy kid. Always in a good mood," said Hugo Pinto, through a translator.

Dozens of friends and family members gathered at the family's Ruskin home to support and comfort each other. Jose's parents say their son was not sick and didn't suffer from any medical conditions.

According to officials from Hillsborough County Public Schools, Jose started complaining of a headache and feeling sick Wednesday morning in the school cafeteria and was taken to the nurse's office. Shortly after, officials said he vomited and collapsed. Paramedics were called and rushed Jose to South Bay Hospital in Sun City, where he died.

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Jose's father said when school officials called him, he was told Jose was vomiting and his nose was hurting. He rushed over to the school, where he said not much was being done to help Jose. According to the father, it looked like his son couldn't breathe.

"He said that when he got there, the paramedics got there seven or eight minutes later. He said, 'All that time I was there and nobody was there.' That's the only thing they had was a cloth, trying to get the blood from him. That was it," said a family member, translating for Hugo Pinto.

School officials said a crisis team will be at the school Thursday for students and staff.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, there were additional medical observations at the time of the incident that may explain the child's sudden death, but they are not yet releasing that information. There are no indications that the child had any contagious medical condition.

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