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911 call: 'My body is hurting all over'

Posted August 14, 2008

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— A Chapel Hill High School football player called 911 a few hours before he was found dead Tuesday evening to ask for help to relieve body aches and dehydration.

Atlas Fraley, 17, of 202 Fan Branch Lane in Chapel Hill, was found unresponsive in his home Tuesday evening by his parents, and they were unable to revive him.

Fraley called 911 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday, but the paramedics who went to his home didn't transport him to a hospital. Protocols used by Orange County Emergency Medical Services don't include a minimum age for allowing patients to refuse treatment.

EMS officials said Thursday they were conducting an investigation into how the case was handled, but they declined to say when the review would be completed. They declined to answer any questions about the case.

After participating in a scrimmage Tuesday morning at Middle Creek High School in Apex, Fraley, a senior offensive guard and defensive tackle for Chapel Hill High, complained of a headache, relatives said.

Although the caller isn't identified in the 911 call, a man tells the dispatcher in a weak voice that he had been at football practice earlier.

"My body is hurting all over," the caller said. "I think I need an IV or something."

The caller later told the dispatcher he wasn't bleeding and hadn't had any problems with his asthma.

"I think I'm just dehydrated and need an IV," he said.

David Fraley said he didn't know his son had called 911 until EMS officials told him on Wednesday. He said he is angry about the way paramedics responded to his son's call for help.

"He knew what was wrong with him, and the system let him down," David Fraley said. "They let him down. They let my son down and my family."

Authorities haven't released an official cause of death, but police said that there were no signs of foul play and that the death didn't appear to be suspicious.

Paramedics told the Fraley family that the teen had died of an asthma attack, David Fraley said, adding that he doesn't believe that.

"(Atlas) knew what to do if he started having difficulty with his asthma. He knew how to hook up his machine, he had an inhaler (and) everything was in the house that he needed," he said.

The younger Fraley’s body was sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

Chapel Hill police aren't investigating the case, Lt. Kevin Gunter said.

103 Comments

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  • malave27896 Aug 15, 2008

    First I just wanted to say that a loss of a family member especially a child is a terrible thing. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family in their time of loss. Second I'm sure he knows his body , he knows if something is wrong or he is not feeling well. I only wish that EMS would of taken to the hospital...It could of made a difference.
    Sending the family the thoughts and prayers.

  • annyanon Aug 15, 2008

    This is very tragic. Regardless of how Atlas described his condition or where his parents were, why wasn't he taken to the hospital? Always better to err on the side of caution. Makes no sense to me. I hope an autopsy is done.

  • daMoFo Aug 15, 2008

    "Or we could just wait and see what the investigation yields........"

    Oh no we can't do that! We have to blame the EMT's even we don't know what actually happened. We have to insist they should have given the guy an IV since he asked for one and 17 year old high school kids know so much more than trained medical technicians. We have to blame the EMT's for not staying there with him and ignoring the other calls that needed to be responded to. Wait until we have all the facts? Perish the thought!

  • Common Sense Man Aug 15, 2008

    "There is responsibility a plenty here, but a 17 year old that can call 911 and tell them that he might need an IV should know how to the remove the top off a Gatorade bottle."

    That was a very ignorant post.

  • uncgrad002 Aug 15, 2008

    Wow localyokal1, your comment is almost as ignorant as your username. How could you say something like that about a 17 year old? I'm sure at his foot practice there was plenty of gatorade to drink, and i'm sure he had some. Apparently gatorade cannot cure everything. Especially if the end result is death. If this was your son, would you be saying in response to his death "he should have removed the top of his gatorade bottle?" Ignorant people never cease to amaze me with comments like yours.

  • elberry08 Aug 15, 2008

    This is terrible tragedy, but it's amazing to me how WRAL isn't even mentioning a very important fact in this matter.

    "Fraley had played in a scrimmage against Middle Creek High School in Apex on Tuesday morning. During the game, he complained of a headache and coaches took him out until he felt better. The headache returned, and they took him out for good."

    Instead, they just say he complained of a headache during the game.

    All high school sports have a trainer, especially football whenever they practice, scrimmage, etc. My question is how come the media and people who are blaming solely the EMT response, let the coaches, trainers, and school out of blame.

    How was he able to leave the school if he was still feeling bad? This is such a terrible tragedy because it should have been easily avoided beginning with the school's response.

  • FromClayton Aug 15, 2008

    Atlas is a good name for this kid. It fits him. Rest in Peace Atlas.

  • FromClayton Aug 15, 2008

    I am interested in seeing how this story will progress. I feel I need more information to weigh in. However, I am sorry this child lost his life.

    And his parents were probably at work. They have to earn money to feed this kid....

  • revolutionary Aug 15, 2008

    localyokal 1 your comments are quite simply ridiculous.

  • jaguar3 Aug 15, 2008

    Usually, the last thing a teenager will do is call 911 for help, if nothing is wrong. He was hurting all over and I'm sure the hurt did not stop once the EMS got to this child's home. His parents should have been called while EMS was there and he should have been taken to the hospital. He may not have wanted to worry the parents and that is why he calle 911. I'm sure he was not thinking that he was going to pass away. The attendants should have taken this child to the hospital for care, PERIOD.
    He called someone for help, whether it was his parents or 911, he should have been helped and not left alone to die.

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