A Ramona High School student died Wednesday after being hit in the chest with a softball during a P. E. class, officials confirmed.
The teen -- identified as Taylor Dorman by friends, fellow students and Ramona High School principal Tony Newman -- collapsed on a school field after being struck by a ball just before 11:30 a.m.
Dorman developed shortness of breath, then became unresponsive and had seizure-type activity according to the county's medical examiner's office.
Dorman was airlifted to Palomar Hospital where he was admitted to the ICU with an an irregular heartbeat. Officials say doctors discontinued lifesaving measures due to his grim prognosis.
Newman confirmed that Wednesday was the 10th grader's birthday.
"We will definitely review the sport and how that game is, the elements of that and discuss the safety. The safety of our students is our number one priority," said Newman.
On Wednesday night some students gathered at Ramona High School to mourn the sudden loss of their classmate. Students signed a memorial poster for Dorman and placed flowers near the poster.
"We felt it was right to celebrate his birthday the way he would want to. And I just wish he could be here for it," Alex Flynn said.
Friends brought "Happy Birthday" balloons, sang the song and remembered the young man who friends called "an "all-around good guy."
"I gave him a hug this morning. I was walking to class and saw him and said 'Hey Happy Birthday,'" Kaylene Stehlik said.
Principal Newton said losing a student is beyond anything anyone wants to go through.
“He was a fine young man, very well-liked by students on our campus,” said Newton. “It was very tragic and our hearts go out to the family and his friends and his classmates. Our thoughts and our hearts will be with them.”
On Thursday, Ramona High School students tried to get through the school day while coping with the sudden, sad loss of Dorman.
His best friend, Navar Findley, told NBC 7 he will never forget Dorman or the important life lesson they 16-year-old taught him.
“[Taylor told me] 'Enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it, and don’t let anybody put you down because it’s better that you be happy than be worried about what other people think about you,'" said Findley.
A memorial fund has been established for Dorman and his family. Those who wish to donate can do so at the Bank of Southern California Ramona branch located at 1315 Main Street by mentioning Sue Kohler, who is Dorman's mother.
Students, friends and family will gather at Ramona High School Thursday night for a candlelight vigil in honor of Dorman. On Friday, a 16th birthday party will be held for the teen at Collier Park.
Last May, an 18-year-old student at Mission Hills High School in San Marcos died suddenly after collapsing in the school gym.
In that instance, senior football star Anthony Vaeao was playing basketball with friends when he fell to the ground. He was rushed to hospital and was pronounced dead a short time later.
In August 2012, a report released by the medical examiner’s office determined Vaeao's cause of death stemmed from a heart problem with other contributing factors.