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Lawrence dies while playing football

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
La Romaine footballer Marcus Lawrence, 21, collapsed while playing football on Friday and later died while undergoing treatment at San Fernando General Hospital.

Budding Club Sando footballer Marcus Lawrence, who collapsed after scoring a goal during football practice on Friday, died from heart valve failure.


Yesterday, pathologist Dr Herbert Daisley, who performed the autopsy on the 21-year-old La Romaine resident at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) mortuary, concluded that Lawrence suffered mitral valve incompetence, acute left ventricular failure and ruptured aortic arch dissection. The footballer, according to the autopsy, also suffered from chronic mitral valve disease. 


This, the doctor told relatives, meant that the valves in Lawrence’s heart failed while he was playing football and it was not able to pump blood out of the heart. 


On Friday, Lawrence was playing football at Skinner Park, San Fernando, on his club’s home ground when he collapsed shortly after scoring a goal around 6.15 pm. He was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where doctors attempted to resuscitate him. However, they were unsuccessful. Lawrence died shortly after.


Yesterday, Lawrence’s mother Marlene Nelson, 49, speaking with the T&T Guardian outside the San Fernando Mortuary, said her son trained with Club Sando on evenings, had no medical problems.


Nelson said she could not understand how her son died.


She recounted her last conversation with her son on Friday morning and sobbed that he was happy. 


“I see him that morning, I was going to work. He ask me if I going to work and I said ‘Yes.’ He touched my hand and said ‘Mommy I will see you later ok.’ I did not know that was the last time I would see him, I would see my precious son,” she sobbed, as her sister held her.


Nelson said her son liked football and enjoyed celebrating and when he scores, he would drop to the ground in celebrations. 


When he dropped to the ground after scoring on Friday, his team-mates knew something was wrong because he did not get up. “They said when they check him on the ground his eyes turn upward. The coach said he called the EHS ambulance, but it never came. Lawrence was then placed in the tray of a van and taken to the hospital. I just get home from work when the hospital call me and ask me if I was Marcus’ mother and the person told me I have to come to the hospital. I asked why and the person said it cannot be discuss over the phone,” Nelson said.


Nelson said when she met the doctor at SFGH she asked her to sit. 


“She tell me she was so sorry, they did everything to resuscitate him but there was nothing they could do and that he passed away. I do not know what happened after that. Ten minutes after I went and I hold my son, I see my son lying on a stretcher and I could not do anything,” Nelson sobbed as she broke down in tears. 


She was comforted by her sister Charmaine Nelson-James as she screamed, “My son, my son. My loving son. Why Lord, why?”


Funeral arrangements for Lawrence are yet to be finalised. 


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