Newton teenager is fighting for his life after collapsing during a basketball game


Preston Settles remains hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center.

Preston Settles, a freshman at Brooks School in North Andover, is shown with his basketball teammates. (Courtesy of the 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 resume contains entries for hockey, football, soccer and lacrosse. “I feel like my heart is racing,” Settles told his friend.

Moments later, teenager Newton collapsed on the gymnasium floor as his parents rushed to his side, wondering if their son had passed out or was having some kind of seizure. “After a while, it was clear that none of these cases were the case,” said the boy’s mother, Lisa M. Owens, who is a doctor. “He stopped breathing.”

Settles remains hospitalized at Tufts Medical Center, where his parents watch, bewildered by what suddenly stopped their son’s heart and grateful for a series of seemingly random events that gave their son a chance to survive. “He’s a happy, healthy, smart, active kid who plays all sports,” said his father, Darryl Settles, a community activist, restaurateur and developer in Boston. “And for that to happen – you would never think that’s a possibility. Or so we thought.

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