PROVO — A Timpview High School football player has died due to a severe case of staph infection combined with other illnesses, his coach said Saturday.
Parker Allred, a sophomore at the school, had been described as a healthy young man, and played football as well as water polo, according to a statement from Coach Bryan Hopkins.
Last week, Allred was overcome with a severe case of influenza and pneumonia, as well as a staph infection. He was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital for treatment, Hopkins said
Nevertheless, he was overcome by the onslaught of illness, according to the coach.
"It was all too much for his body despite his excellent health," he said.
Allred's teammates gathered Saturday night at the school to place blue ribbons all around the school, according to Hopkins, "blue ones as he was affectionately called the 'blue eyed boy' by his family."
"I think we all need to take this flu more seriously and hug our children tonight. Life is fragile," Hopkins said.
Allred's sister recounted much of the last week on a blog she set up to track his treatment and recovery.
"On Friday (Jan. 25) he was feeling a bit under the weather- had a headache, and not feeling his best," Madison Allred wrote on the blog. "My mom guessed that it was the start of the flu- and wouldn't you know it? It was."
Madison said that about a week later, after several days of high fevers and even hallucinations brought on by the sickness, Allred complained about pain in his sides, and his father, thinking it could be a kidney problem, took him to an instant care facility where he collapsed.
Madison writes that their father literally carried the 6-foot-1 Allred to a nearby emergency room.
Allred was flown to Primary Children's, where Madison said that he suffered cardiac arrest twice before being put on life support. She said the staph infection caused the most severe complications and limitations on treatment. After days of battling the various infections, Allred died in the early morning hours of Feb. 2.
A memorial Facebook page has been set up for Allred, where at least one teammate has expressed their sadness at the loss of the young man.
"He was always giving 100% on and off the field," the anonymous teammate posted on the page. "As a teammate of his, I know how great he was. His attitude towards life made everyone look up to him. He was always doing the right thing and everyone loved being around him."
More information will be posted as it becomes available.