• Fleming Island High School athlete dies after passing out at school

    By: Brittney Donovan , Action News Jax


    UPDATE: Community honors Fleming Island High football player who died days after collapsing

    A Fleming Island High School football player has died two days after he passed out at school.

    It's unclear why sophomore Ben Johnson passed out during weight lifting class Tuesday.

    The football and baseball player was rushed to Wolfson Children's Hospital, where he remained in critical condition for several days.

    Hospital officials said he suffered cardiac arrest and irreversible brain damage. He died just before noon Thursday.

    His family announced his passing in a statement sent to Action News Jax.

    They said they find hope in Ben's selfless decision to donate his organs.

    Ben went to be with his Lord and Savior today. While we mourn, we find peace knowing he is with Jesus. We also find hope in Ben’s selfless decision to donate his organs. Please pray for healing for our family. Our hearts are broken.” – The Johnson Family 

    Ben's teammate Chase Billingsley said Ben was a dedicated athlete.

    “He was a pitcher. He always put in work," Chase said. "Always go during the weekends when we didn’t have practice. He would go up, go to the fields, get pitching lessons by coaches."

    Students wore blue and held a prayer circle on campus Wednesday.

    Hospital officials said an autopsy will determine Ben's cause of death. 

    The school district released a statement about Ben's death Thursday:

    "We are devastated to hear about the incident involving our student, Ben Johnson. He was known as a kind, caring friend and son, who was a leader inside and outside the classroom. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ben's family."

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