Garden City Community College, of Garden City, Kansas, announced today that they have received the independent investigation report into the death of Braeden Bradforth and that the report will be released to his family.
Braeden, a Neptune High School football standout was a freshman at GCCC when he died of heat stroke following his first day of practice in August of 2018.
Congressman Chris Smith, R-NJ4, said the college was doing the right and compassionate thing by releasing the report of Braeden’s mother, Joanne Atkins-Ingram.
“Braeden’s mother, Joanne, is entitled to absolutely every detail in the report, and the decision to share all of the information with the family was expected and is appreciated,” said Smith, who asked GCCC President Ryan Ruda for the independent investigation into Braeden’s death in a March 2019 letter. “Braeden’s family has suffered tremendously since his death, and we will be scrutinizing the report to see what improvements and protocols can be made in athletic programs around the country so that no more student athletes die from the completely preventable exertional heat stroke (EHS).
“A mother’s love for her son moved the college to reverse its bunker mentality and conduct an independent investigation of the circumstances that led to his death, and the college has appeared to have made some changes,” Smith said.
“I stand ready to work with Joanne to move not just GCCC, but the nation, to establish minimum standards and best practices to prevent another senseless loss of a young life pursuing the dream of scholastic sports,” said Smith, who introduced H.R. 4145, Protect our Athletes from Exertional Heat Stroke: Braeden’s Commission “to better protect students and families from EHS with a commission that determines the best ways to make sure that what happened to Braeden does not happen again.”
H.R. 4145 would establish a commission to conduct a study on exertional heat stroke among student athletes at educational institutions across the country to study best practices for prevention, recognition and treatment of exertional heat stroke, and develop recommendations for the purpose of reducing fatalities from exertional heat stroke among student athletes. Smith introduced the legislation Aug. 2 after unveiling it at a memorial on Aug. 1, exactly one year after Braeden’s death held in Braeden’s home town of Neptune, N.J.