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“He was a kid full of love”: Family grieves loss of Bowie band member after untimely death

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA)-- The mother of the Bowie High School band member who collapsed during a football game Friday night, now speaks out about her son's untimely death.

"I felt like it was the end, when I saw him there on the floor I knew it was the end,” said Susana Sandoval, mother to 17-year-old Daniel Esparza. “We tried but, God’s will, that's how it is.”

She said moments after his last performance at Bowie High School, she knew something was wrong when he told her his chest hurt.

Sandoval said he suffered a heart attack and after emergency surgery, he died at the hospital.

She said since Esparza was 8-months-old he has been battling with Kawasaki syndrome, a rare heart condition that causes high fever and inflammation of the blood vessels. 

Esparza received CPR and defibrillation on the football field, according to several witnesses.

The remainder of the football game between Bowie and Ysleta was canceled, along with all of the associated activities.

"He was a kid full of love, I didn't think that would happen to him," his grandmother told ABC-7.

Sandoval described Daniel as a loving, caring and protective son whose biggest passion was music.

"He loved music, he loved it, where there was music, there he was" said Sandoval.

She said he was a well-rounded student who received good grades and joined several extracurricular activities like JROTC, and Swim.

The high school senior aspired to pursue music education at UTEP.

"Its not easy to say bye to your son but I know where he's at he's protecting me," she said.

"Where he's at, he's taking care of us and playing us a song from up there, and I could tell him anything, a message, I would tell him I love him and we'll see each other later" said Salvador Dominguez, father.

Esparza's family is set to hold his service on Thursday, September 14 at 4 p.m. at San Ignacio de Loyola Catholic Church, located at 408 Park Street.

They encourage the public to attend and wear white in his honor.

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Brianna Perez


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