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Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017
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Boy, 6, dies after feeling sick at Ruskin elementary school

TAMPA - A kindergarten student at Cypress Creek Elementary School died Wednesday after he told nurses he wasn’t feeling well, investigators said. Jose Maria Pinto-Rosa, 6, was in the lunch room of the Ruskin school about 11 a.m. when he told an employee he felt sick, Hillsborough County sheriff’s spokesman Larry McKinnon said. The child was walked to the nurse’s office, where he collapsed several minutes later. He was taken to South Bay Hospital in Sun City Center, where he died. An initial investigation shows no signs of foul play, and the boy’s death could be linked to medical issues, McKinnon said.
"There is no explanation that we know of for what happened to him," said Linda Cobbe, spokeswoman for the school district. "We are not aware of any pre-existing conditions or anything." Victor Hugo Pinto, the boy’s father, said he was called to the school and got there before paramedics. Through a translator, he said he was told his son was vomiting and that "his nose was hurting.’’ He said when he found his son at the school, the boy was gasping for air. He said the paramedics didn’t arrive for what he estimated was another seven to eight minutes. Pinto said his son didn’t have any health issues. He described him as a sweet boy who was always in good spirits. He had a younger brother who is 3. On Wednesday night, about two dozen people gathered at the family’s home, 1010 Cristelle Jean Drive, Ruskin, to pay their respects to the family. Pinto said he’s crushed. "Nobody’s going to bring (my) son back," he said. Pinto-Rosa appeared to be fine when he was brought to school, McKinnon said. During lunch, the kindergarten student began to feel sick and showed signs of distress, McKinnon said. When the boy was taken to the school clinic, his health rapidly deteriorated and 911 was called, McKinnon said. There is no indication the child had any contagious medical condition that attributed to his death, McKinnon said. McKinnon said witnesses saw medical symptoms that might explain the child’s sudden death. The sheriff’s office is not releasing those details, he said. The sheriff’s office is working with the family, the school district and the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office. Detectives are interviewing school employees and family members. Detectives have also requested the boy’s medical history, McKinnon said. Students were not notified of the death, but the principal did record an automated telephone message to go out to parents. The school district’s crisis team was trying to determine if it needed to respond to the school this morning.    

News Channel 8 reporter Melissa Beckman and Tribune reporter Rob Shaw contributed to this report.

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