Latrice Jackson, the 14-year-old lead actress in the filmThe Magic City
, was hospitalized earlier today atJoe DiMaggio Children's Hospital
in Broward County.
The movie, which screened at the 17th Annual American Black Film Festival in July, was shot in Miami last year. The story of a Liberty City community, the film was written and directed by R. Malcolm Jones, a University of Miami graduate known for his music videos. It also stars Jenifer Lewis (Think Like a Man), Keith David (Crash, Requiem for a Dream), and Jamie Hector (The Wire).
Latrice was in the kitchen this morning in her family's home when her body went limp and she started gasping for air, according to Jones. "She had a massize seizure and then she stopped breathing. Paramedics and police came, and she stopped breathing two more times on the way to the hospital."
The director said he was just about to go into a meeting when he found out the news. "Obviously we canceled the meeting. Her mother contacted us. It was very scary. We were trying to figure out what was going on," Jones said. "We knew she's got some issues with her heart. That was the first thing that crossed my mind."
Latrice was placed on a respirator at the hospital and had been going in and out of consciousness. Doctors are running tests, and there's no diagnosis at this time.
"I just spoke to her mom. She's breathing now, and she's becoming more alert, but they're running a lot of tests to find out what's the cause of this and what the issue is. They're going to keep her here," Jones said.
Latrice has also started to speak and has said a few words, according to Jones.
Jones has faith that Latrice will pull through. "Latrice was that kid on the set that never really complained. ... If any kid can get through this, it's her."
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She's a fighter, he says. "She's tough. She's not going to want to stay in the bed. When she finally pulls through, she's going to want to bolt out of there."
Cultist will update this post as the story progresses.