Untimely Death of Chapel Hill Football Player Remains A Mystery - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/4/02 - Chapel Hill

Untimely Death of Chapel Hill Football Player Remains A Mystery

   Anyone who knew Joshua Johnson, admits they'd always find a smile on his face. A smile that's now remembered in pictures, "The hardest part is passing by his room cause I haven't really been able to go in there," says Jaquilin Johnson.

   Jaquilin recalls Tuesday morning as any other school day, until she received a devastating phone call about her 13 year old son, "We got the news that he had collapsed." She tells. "I was thinking maybe perhaps he had gotten too hot and perhaps maybe it was heat related.  That's because Josh is barely sick."

   He did have occasional asthma, but it was never severe. Tuesday, the players had been on the field only 15 minutes, dressed in shorts and t-shirts, and doing running drills. Chapel Hill Superintendent Joe Stubblefield, "We never saw any signs of any heat related illness...it appeared that the student basically stopped breathing, had a very shallow heart beat almost immediately."

   From the field to the hospital, CPR didn't help, neither did a pace maker. Two days earlier, Jose says he watched his son at practice, "He had no signs, he ran hard, he never fatigued...he had a good practice."

   The last time they talked, Joshua was looking forward to the weekend because he would have turned 14 this coming Friday. Instead of celebrating with laughter, this family grieves with tears.

   A preliminary autopsy is surprisingly showing no cause of death. While the final results won't be back for another 8 to 12 weeks, doctors aren't ruling out heat or congenital heart problems, in Joshua's death. More in-depth testing will be done.

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