DiPuglia [the Nationals’ international scouting director] called him out—in the Dominican Republic, nobody rides the bench because of a headache. When the pain got worse, DiPuglia sent Guillén to the trainer’s room, where he was given some tea and an aspirin.
The next day, on April 6, the Nationals sent Guillén back to La Canela. He had a slight fever when he left the academy. On April 7, Michael Morla, a longtime local trainer who also acted as Guillén’s agent, was at the field in La Canela when he saw Guillén, a damp towel wrapped around his head, lurching toward the community’s health post, adjacent to the field. Morla approached Guillén’s family, urging them to take him to Santo Domingo for care: “The boy is bad!”
Guillén’s aunt and uncle rushed him to the Clínica Abreu, the capital’s best private hospital. But because his contract hadn’t been finalized he didn’t have health insurance, and he was refused treatment when his family couldn’t come up with the $1,300 admission fee. His aunt and uncle moved him to a more affordable Cuban-Dominican clinic nearby, where he was admitted on April 8. The doctors diagnosed bacterial meningitis. Guillén later had surgery to drain brain fluid, but the disease had progressed too far. On April 15, the day he was to leave for the United States, Yewri Guillén died.
Teen shortstop Yewri Guillén died the day the Nationals were supposed to ship him to America. Has MLB learned from the tragedy?
Read: Mother Jones