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Queens field renamed for boy who died from sepsis

A Queens sports field was renamed on Monday in memory of a 12-year-old boy who died last year after a scrape on his arm led to sepsis.

Rory Staunton was a student at the Garden School in Jackson Heights who used the field on a daily basis and recognized the importance of public green space in the community.

The seventh grader suffered a cut while playing basketball last year. He died of septic shock, a condition caused by severe infection, just four days later after being misdiagnosed.

“Many parks are named in honor of local civic leaders, who improved their communities and fought for their interests,” said Parks Commissioner Veronica White in a statement. “Although his life was short, the positive impact of Rory Staunton’s actions was immense, and can be felt by talking to anyone who knew him.”

Rory was remembered on Monday for his civic responsibility, leadership quality and kind heart.

He was known in his neighborhood in Sunnyside for having devised and presented a plan to recycle rainwater for Sunnyside Gardens Park.

He was also honored by the Special Olympics’ New York Chapter for bringing the "Spread the Word to End the Word" anti-bullying campaign to his school.

Following Rory’s death, his family fought to turn the Garden School’s athletic field into public parkland.

The school decided to sell the field to the city last year instead of selling the land to developers. It will now be included in a future renovation of the adjacent Travers Park.

“It is fitting to name this field after a young man who was so dedicated to his classmates and community,” said Councilman Daniel Dromm. “In the coming months, we will be working with the community to improve this field so it can be an even better asset to our neighborhood.”

Rory Staunton Field, located on 78th Street between Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue, adds approximately half an acre of recreational space in Jackson Heights, according to the parks department. It will continue to be used by the school during school hours for the next five years.

 
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