Excess Water Consumption Leads to the Death of 17-Year-Old

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By Sarah Thomas | August 15, 2014 4:06 PM EST

Zyrees Oliver, 17-year-old Douglas County High School football player, lost his life due to drinking excessive amounts of water. The boy was supposed to start his first day of his senior year of high school in Georgia. He suddenly collapsed and was taken to the hospital immediately in a helicopter.

Reuters
Volunteers unload drinking water from a truck outside Waite High School in Toledo, Ohio August 3, 2014. Testing of water for toxins in Toledo, Ohio, continued on Sunday as some 400,000 people remained without safe drinking water for a second day following the discovery of high toxin levels from algae on Lake Erie. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

He was practicing and collapsed after the practice. He had drank two gallons of water and two gallons of Gatorade during the football practice. Doctors said that he was brain dead. The excess water consumption lead to overhydration which caused the body's electrolytes to go off balance, and ultimately, the boy suffered from an enormous swelling in his brain.

He was on life support for five days. His family, after struggling with their emotions, took him off life support. "The water flooded his system and his brain started to swell," his cousin, Bryant Stewart, told Atlanta-Journal Constitution

His aunt, Tammy Chavis, said that most often we think more water would combat dehydration and it is good, but she said that it was not the same in all cases, and in some, "it does the opposite." The family lost a healthy, beautiful, vibrant young man," said Chavis. Zyrees was an excellent football player and was great at academics too as he had a 3.8 GPA.

Douglas County High School Principal Dr Tim Scott  said, "We are saddened to inform you of the death of Zyrees Oliver, a senior at Douglas County High School. He passed away early this morning." Zyrees was a blessing he continued not just to his football and track teammates but to his classmates, coaches and school staff as well.

"The death of any young person is a loss that, in one way or another, affects each of us. We have lost one of our children but we will not forget his academic, athletic and overall impact and achievement he had on and while at our school," Scott said.

His parents are raising money on gofundme page to fly his body to New Jersey. The cause of his death is extremely rare, but it has happened in the past as well. In 2007, a woman died drinking 2 gallons of water.

When there is an excess of water consumed in a short period of time, it dilutes the nutrients in the body and exerts heavy pressure on the brain, leading to coma or death, if not treated.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Volunteers unload drinking water from a truck outside Waite High School in Toledo, Ohio August 3, 2014. Testing of water for toxins in Toledo, Ohio, continued on Sunday as some 400,000 people remained without safe drinking water for a second day following the discovery of high toxin levels from algae on Lake Erie. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)
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