AGOURA HILLS, Calif. - The Agoura Hills community is mourning the death of a local 15-year-old boy who died from complications following a routine surgery.
Carter Stone, a freshman at Agoura High School, had attended his first day of high school Wednesday, according to the Ventura County Star. The following day, he went to an outpatient surgical center in Westlake Village for "what should have been a routine outpatient shoulder surgery," according to a GoFundMe page for the family.
Stone was later taken to Children's Hospital Los Angeles where he later passed away.
In an email to the Agoura High football program, Head Coach Dustin Croick wrote that "Carter had a tumor on his heart that was caused by undetected T-cell leukemia."
"It was unknown and undetected prior to the surgery," said Croick. "He was a great kid."
"Carter was known for his sense of humor, kindness and work ethic. He was a dedicated football player looking forward to his career at Agoura High School," the fundraiser page read.
According to the publication, Stone had missed the team's season opener because of a shoulder injury sustained while training. The surgery was scheduled to fix the injury.
"Carter loved football, and he loved being an A-Town Charger," Croick wrote. "His main high school experience was with his teammates and on the field as a member of the junior varsity team. He woke up at 5:30 a.m. for workouts and he was there at every single afternoon practice. Carter was sick, but he didn't know he was. These workouts and practices were not easy, yet he persevered and continued to work through it with his personal goal of starting as a freshman football player."
He had previously attended White Oaks Elementary and Lindero Canyon Middle School.
The Agoura High football team paid tribute to Carter on social media Saturday. "A moment of silence for Carter. A lone helmet for 76. We sadly yet proudly honor our teammate and friend, Carter Stone," the team's tweet read. "Our entire community is devastated as we mourn his passing and support his incredible family. Carter loved football and we loved him."
Croick said that "Be like Carter" will be the team's mantra for the remainder of the season. "'Be Like Carter'" is working hard, putting others first, and being a humble person," Croick said.
The Stone family released the following statement to FOX 11 on August 30:
"The love and support we’ve received from friends, family and the Agoura/Westlake community has been an extraordinary gift during this devastating time for our family. We have found a great deal of comfort over the past several days thanks to the generosity and heart-warming acts of kindness we’ve received from our village.
Carter Brian Stone was an incredibly kind, compassionate, caring human being. At 15, he was just beginning to grow into the remarkable person he was becoming. He was looking forward to starting high school and was excited to be on the football team. Carter had a charming sense of humor and a love of music, video games and superhero movies. He loved spending time with his family, including his three sisters, many cousins and friends, and experienced great joy holding his newborn baby cousin.
We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this time. When we are ready, we look forward to sharing more about his story and what it means to "Be Like Carter."
Until then, we ask for privacy as we continue to surround ourselves with family and friends while searching for meaning within this profound loss."
Carter Stone celebrates his 15 birthday with his three sisters in July 2022 (PHOTO: The Stone Family)
On the field, the team will honor Carter for the remainder of the season, wearing the number 76 and "Be like Carter" stickers on players' helmets. Both the varsity and JV teams will also start each game with 10 men on the field, without an offensive guard — the position Carter played.