TJC Athlete Dies From Bacterial Meningitis

TJC baseball pitcher, Austin Phillips, died Monday afternoon at the Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Austin was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis last weekend.

Austin Phillips was visiting his parents over the weekend in Arlington when he felt ill. He was taken to the Dallas hospital.

Austin was a pitcher for the TJC Apache baseball team. He was a freshmen from Mansfield, Texas. Dr. Tim Drain, TJC's director of intercollegiate athletics said, "Austin has been in our minds and our prayers since we learned of his illness."

His baseball coach, Jon Groth said, "There's not a lot of warning. He was pitching Thursday and Friday nights. He was in a coma and Monday he is dead. This is a tragic thing for an 18-year-old man. Anything we can do to alleviate and prevent other people from going through this."

Already TJC school officials, like Dr. Drain have notified those who may have had "close contact" with Austin to take certain antibiotics. "Anybody that might have direct contact with him in the last seven days. That list was provided and by Saturday evening, the majority, if not everyone, of those people had been contacted had already received medication."

Close contact includes sharing eating utensils, and drinking from the same containers. If you have been in close contact with bacterial meningitis and are experiencing the following symptoms: stiff neck, high fever, severe headache you should seek medical attention.

A moment of silence will be observed for Austin during Monday night's TJC volleyball game in the Wagstaff gym.

Karolyn Davis, Reporting