The Gwinnett County medical examiner has completed an autopsy on a 12-year-old Buford athlete who collapsed over the weekend and has determined that he died from natural causes.
On Monday, the medical examiner said Jeremy Nelson had marked pulmonary edema, or fluid in his lungs. Tests were underway to determine what caused the fluid to fill his lungs.
On Saturday night, Nelson became the latest Buford athlete to die while doing what he loved: playing a sport.
Jeremy had been playing in the Gwinnett Basketball League at the Suwanee Sports Academy with other 7th graders when he collapsed at about 9 p.m.
He died shortly after that at Gwinnett Medical Center.
Jeremy's dad, Herb Nelson, spoke to CBS Atlanta News outside of the family's home, which was packed with supporters on Sunday night.
He said Jeremy was 5'11" and wore a size 14 shoe, and he had hoped to see him continue to grow into a skilled basketball player.
"This time yesterday, we were cheering him on at the game," Herb Nelson said. "You never, you never expect to leave home and come back without him."
Herb Nelson said his son received annual physicals, which are required to play many sports, and that he had no known health problems.
Just down the street from Jeremy Nelson's home lives the family of Adam Smith, a Buford High School junior who collapsed in October.
Smith had been training on the school's football field as part of his basketball training and died days later.
Last January, Buford High School football coach Ryan Daniel had been playing basketball before school began and collapsed and died as well.
Herb Nelson said his faith is helping Jeremy's mother, twin sister and older sister cope with their loss.
"When it's your time, your number comes up," Herb Nelson said. "I would have traded places a thousand times with my son. You can't run from your time."
Following Jeremy's death, Buford City School System Superintendent Dr. Geye Hamby issued a statement to CBS Atlanta News on behalf of the school system:
"Jeremy was a very kind young man and an excellent student athlete. Jeremy had a presence in the hallways and on the court. He was a young man that always shared kindness with others and one that the students enjoyed being around. His very pleasant demeanor will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeremy's family and with all who knew and loved him."
Hamby also stated that Jeremy's two sisters attended the Buford City School System. Jeremy's twin, Jessica, is in 7th grade and his older sister, Kristina, a 12th grader, played on Buford High School's varsity girls basketball team.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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