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Child Faints at Crist Event

April 27, 2010 - 6:00pm

An event in front of the Capitol to honor Florida Fitness Day ended suddenly Wednesday when an 11-year-old boy fainted in front of the podium.

Though the child was all right, the situation was tense. Besides fainting and hitting his head on the pavement, he lay on the ground for several minutes.

With Gov. Charlie Crist fanning the childs head and Department of Children and Families Secretary George Sheldon helping out, too, Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros, M.D., examined the child before letting him stand and allowing Capitol Police to take him to get more medical care.

The child was one of several students from middle and elementary schools in Tallahassee who were attending the event along with tennis legend Chris Evert and Special Olympians from Florida.

With Crist expected to announce in St. Petersburg today that he will leave the Republican Party to continue his campaign for the U.S. Senate as an independent, no Republicans attended the event. There were a number of House Democrats, led by incoming Minority Leader Ron Saunders of Key West at the event.

Crist said that when he ran for governor in 2006 he thought Florida schools needed to refocus on teaching physical education. It was important to get physical education going again, said Crist. There was no P.E. around and that wasnt right.

Maria Sachs of Delray Beach was introducing House Democrats in attendance when the child fainted, bringing the event to a sudden close. Ros, Crist and Sheldon quickly formed a circle around the child.

With the child up and seemingly all right, Crist was surrounded by the press asking about his intentions today. Sheldon remained with the child until Capitol Police could take over.

Reach Kevin Derby at or (850) 727-0859.

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