HEREFORD - Hereford High School and the Hereford community are mourning the loss of a 15-year-old Joshua Ramirez.
Ramirez was hit by a discus while warming up for a track meet in Plainview March 8th. A statement from Hereford ISD says the athletic trainer followed injury protocol.
Ramirez went to Hereford Regional Medical Center two days later, and was sent home and told to return Wednesday, March 13. That night, he was transported to the intensive care unit in an Amarillo hospital, then died Sunday March 17.
Hereford track coaches told NewsChannel 10 the discus may have split a muscle, releasing toxins into his body when he stretched, but they didn't and couldn't have known that at the time.
The Ramirez family says doctors aren't exactly sure what happened just yet, but what is certain is that he will be sorely missed.
"It hurts, but I know he's in a better place," said Ramirez's father Monday.
Hundreds of people gathered Monday to release red balloons to honor Ramirez. His teammates showed up donning his initials and his favorite color. The gesture was no surprise to members of the Church of God of the First Born, where Ramirez's father is the pastor.
"He was just so loving, so caring, humble," said church music director Saul Tarango.
Tarango said Ramirez was a dedicated musician, student, long-distance runner, and friend.
"He played the drums, guitar, bass, piano. In just a few months he learned all those,
said Tarango. "Whatever he did. He put his heart into it."
Ramirez leaves behind two sisters, a younger brother, loving parents, and a large extended family.
All say they know Josh is in a better place now, but it doesn't help soothe the pain.
"We lost someone special. Just keep us in your prayers," said Josh's Uncle Johnny Ramirez.
The family has an account set up at Happy State Bank for donations to help with medical and funeral costs in the name of Joshua Lorenzo Ramirez.