Rare Diseases

Texas Boy Scout dies of heatstroke during backpacking trip

A Texas high school student died of heatstroke while on a Boy Scout backpacking trip last week, the medical examiner's office ruled last Friday. 

Reid Comita, 15, collapsed while hiking at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch in Fort Davis on June 12, according to the Star-Telegram. He was with other Boy Scout members and had been hiking for hours in the heat. Temperatures hovered in the upper 90s that day, with the heat index hitting above 100 degrees. 

The sheriff's office received an emergency call shortly after 4 p.m., but Comita later died on a trail near the Davis Mountains, the Star-Telegram reported. 

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Comita's dad, John Comita Jr., wrote on Facebook that the paramedic and guides performed CPR on his son for more than an hour. Authorities also said the boys were in an area that was difficult for ambulance vans to reach. 

"[My wife] answered the phone, and she screamed, 'Oh, my God,' and she looked at me and said, 'John, pull over,'" John Comita Jr. told mySA.com.

"Well, I pulled over and then she told me. Of course I was devastated. Then I talked to him and I said, 'Is my boy gone?' and he said, 'Yes, John,'" he recalled. 

Heatstroke happens when a person's body temperature reaches to 104 degrees or higher. Prolonged physical activity or heat exposure can cause the condition. 

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Reid Comita's parents said their son was a member of the Okai Chapter of the Boy Scouts of America and the Voices of Central show choir. The family created a scholarship in Comita's honor to benefit children in both organizations. 

"Please remember him in your thoughts and prayers. Pray for my family for strength and remember Reid as a loving caring young man," Comita's father wrote on Facebook.