High School band member from Long Island died during a trip to Disneyland


Joseph Tutaj

A Long Island teenager died suddenly during a trip to Disneyland with the school band. Joseph Tutaj, 15, complained of a fever shortly before he died. Tutaj and 80 members of the Seaford High School band were enjoying the trip to the theme park before tragedy struck. Tutaj played the trumpet,” according to the Inquisitr.

“On Tuesday, Tutaj was at the Santa Monica Pier when he complained of a high fever. The teen was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and died 24 hours later,” according to CBS News.

Disneyland hosts dozens of high school bands every year.  They don’t pay the young musicians, as I understand it.  Nor does Disneyland provide free passes to their family members.  I found that out when I asked a parent about this when she was at Disneyland to watch her son’s high school band perform, at California Adventures.

Tutaj’ mom did however come to California to pick up her son, so she can take him back home for burial.  Not that they have much of a home to get back to – it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  And Tutaj’ father is battling stage 4 cancer.

Could Tutaj have been saved if his mom had been with him on the trip – considering that perhaps she might have got him to a doctor or a hospital sooner?  That is hard to say.  But Disneyland should reconsider their policy of not giving free passes to the families of the young high school band members who entertain folks at Disneyland.

It should be noted that Disneyland has a nurse station at their resort but the nurses cannot prescribe medicine.  When I worked at Disneyland, in their safety department, I once escorted a family whose 14 year old daughter could not stop vomiting.  I took them to the nurses’ station.  All the nurses could do was provide the young lady with a bed to lie in.  I don’t know what happened to them as I returned to work afterwards.

Disneyland is visited by folks from all over the world.  It is conceivable that some of these folks bring diseases to the resort.  The park is cleaned nightly but whatever pathogen killed Tutaj did so quickly.  Who knows what it was or how long it incubated in him?  Was it a bacterial infection or a virus, such as meningitis?  We may never know.  May God rest his soul.

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