Victoria Johnston / Lantern photographer
A non-student member of the Recreation and Physical Activity Center died Thursday at The Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University after experiencing difficulty breathing.
Joseph Delaney Jr., 39, died at 7:55 pm. The cause of death has yet to be determined, the Franklin County Coroner’s Office said Friday.
Don Stenta, the director of recreation with the Office of Student Life, said Delaney was participating in “informal recreation” when staff noticed he was having a hard time breathing.
The RPAC staff immediately dialed 911 and emergency services arrived quickly, Stenta said.
“Responding in an emergency situation is just as high of a priority as customer service and making sure that the equipment is in good working order. I take a lot of pride in the response and actions of the staff in this situation,” Stenta said.
The RPAC was later notified that Delaney had died. Stenta did not disclose Delaney’s name, which The Lantern obtained from the coroner’s office.
“This is an unfortunate event,” Stenta said. “Our thoughts are with everyone that will be grieving in this situation.”
Matthew Koczwara, a second-year in computer science and engineering, said he hadn’t heard about the death but was shocked.
“Something like this really puts everything into perspective,” Koczwara said. “You would never think of anything like that happening in an environment like RPAC.”
Attempts to contact the Delaney family Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.
Teddy Ellison and Ethan Straub contributed to this story.