LEE COUNTY, Fla . - It was an emotional victory for the family of a high school football player who died of exertional heat stroke in 2017.
Zach Martin was a 300 pound 6 foot 4 offensive lineman at Riverdale High School in Lee County.
During summer practice, he became overheated and collapsed on the field. He died two weeks later. His mother, Laurie Giordano, said she won’t stop fighting to protect kids like Zach.
“To the moms and dads I have connected with who have lost their child due to exertional heat stroke, you give me the strength to continue to fight,” she said. “And these laws are truly our laws.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Zachary Martin Act, which requires schools to act more quickly when athletes show signs of heat-related stress, along with water and rest breaks and more education on AED requirements.
“I am fighting for your kids and that fight will not stop,” Giordano said.
Now more than two years later, the legal battle for Zach’s family is over. The Lee County School Board unanimously agreed to pay $950,000 in a settlement. Zach’s mom said she has big plans for his legacy.
“We did it in Florida and we will do it in every state to ensure a future where no parent loses a child to exertional heat stroke,” she said.