PALOS HEIGHTS, Ill. — Days after helping his high school soccer team win a regional championship, a 17-year-old soccer star suddenly died from mononucleosis Saturday.
Doctors said Ryan Plowman succumbed to the sickness due to an underlying condition and a medication that inhibited his body’s ability to fight it.
“He also had Crohn’s Disease,” said Jennifer Plowman, Ryan’s mother. “They are suspecting that because of the medication from the Crohn’s Disease that it suppressed his immune system.”
Ryan’s parents said he dreamed of going to college to become a pharmacist, so that he could work to help others.
“That’s what he always wanted to do — help others,” his mother said.
According to Zeno Toscas, Ryan’s soccer coach at Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights, he was one of those rare kids that coaches dream of having on their team.
“He worked hard on and off the field, he was just one of those kids who I said if I had a team of Ryan Plowmans, it would be one of the most pleasurable experiences a coach could ever ask for,” Toscas said. “He was just one of those souls that you were happy you got to interact with.”
A vigil is planned to take place at the high school this Wednesday at 7 p.m.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the Plowman family with funeral and medical expenses. If you or someone you know are interested in making a donation, you can visit the page at this link.