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Newton teen fighting for his life after collapsing during basketball game

Preston Settles remains hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center.

Preston Settles, a freshman at the Brooks School in North Andover, is shown with his basketball teammates. (Courtesy of family)


Preston Settles turned to a Brooks School teammate during a basketball game last Saturday with an unusual complaint, especially for a 15-year-old boy whose athletic résumé contains entries for hockey, football, soccer, and lacrosse. “My heart feels like it’s spasming,” Settles told his friend.

Moments later, the Newton teenager collapsed on the gymnasium floor as his parents rushed to his side, wondering if their son had fainted or was having some sort of seizure. “After a period of time lapsed, it was clear that neither one of those were the case,” said the boy’s mother, Lisa M. Owens, who is a doctor. “He stopped breathing.”

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Settles remains hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center, where his parents are keeping vigil, bewildered by what caused their son’s heart suddenly to stop, and grateful for a series of seemingly random events that have given their son a chance to survive. “This is a happy, healthy, smart, active kid who plays every sport,’’ said his father, Darryl Settles, a community activist, restaurateur, and developer in Boston. “And for this to happen — you just would never, ever think it a possibility. As least that’s what we thought.”

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