Freshman dies Saturday as result of heart condition

By Kimberly Miller

Arizona Daily Wildcat

An 18-year-old UA student died early Saturday morning in front of Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall, 1000 N. Park Ave., after suffering a respiratory and cardiac arrest.

Eric Fleischer, an undeclared freshman from Mill Valley, Calif., collapsed shortly after 1 a.m. in front of the residence hall after leaving a house-party near East Speedway Boulevard and North Euclid Avenue.

He was pronounced dead at University Medical Center at 1:30 a.m.

Fleischer was born with tricuspid atresia, a heart condition where a heart valve does not function properly and has to be replaced. Fleischer's father, Robert, said his son's heart was rebuilt as a child.

Friends who were with Fleischer at the time said they were walking back to his room at Cochise Residence Hall, 1018 E. S. Campus Drive, when he became sick and sat down on a concrete bench in front of Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall. They told police Fleischer had consumed between 5-7 beers earlier in the evening so when he passed out they thought it was because of the alcohol.

"We had no idea what happened," said a friend who was at the party with Fleischer. "He had put his head down and was sitting on the bench. Then he just turned around and passed out."

The friend, who asked not to be identified, said Fleischer never complained of chest pains and they only realized something was wrong when they tried to get him up and he wouldn't move. They then called UAPD.

When police arrived they found Fleischer lying on the bench. Police reported he had no pulse and was not breathing so they began cardiopulmonary resuscitation and called for paramedics.

Fleischer's father said his son had previous problems after drinking alcohol when he had to be rushed to the hospital. But Fleischer's friends told police they had seen him drink more alcohol than he did Saturday night and

not have any problems.

Another friend who was with Fleischer when he suffered the heart attack said he and Fleischer had become very close the last couple months while the two were pledging Chi Phi fraternity.

The friend said Fleischer wanted to be a cardiovascular pediatrician because of the experiences he had dealing with his own heart problems. He described Fleischer as a caring person, always concerned with his friends' well being.

"We just hung out and talked to each other a lot," he said. "He's really outgoing and always caring. He always wanted to make sure everyone else was OK."

He said Fleischer was a member of the criminal justice club, worked at UA maintenance, and was a fan of 1970s rock bands like Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin.

Fleischer is survived by his father, of Mill Valley, Calif.; his mother, Inger, of Tiburon, Calif.; a sister, Lisa, of Santa Cruz, Calif.; and a sister, Diane, also a UA student. Funeral services will be held Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco.

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