Fleming Island sophomore collapses in weight room

Community pours out support on social media as student remains critical

By Allyson Henning - Reporter, Kent Justice - Anchor/reporter, News4Jax.com Staff

FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. - After a Fleming Island High School sophomore collapsed Tuesday afternoon while working out in the school's weight room, the Clay County community is rallying around the student's family.

Ben Johnson's family has received an outpouring of support on social media over the last 24 hours, from both the Fleming Island community and the school's county rivals.

Johnson plays football and baseball, according to school officials, and collapsed during school hours Tuesday.

He was taken to Orange Park Medical Center, then transferred to Wolfson Children's Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

"Our thought and prayers go out to (Johnson), his family and the entire Fleming Island community," Clay High Athletics tweeted. 

Hundreds of students at Fleming Island High came together Wednesday at the first bell for a prayer circle as they hope for the best for their classmate.

Many of the students wore blue to honor Johnson, who wears No. 78 on the Eagles football team.


A classmate who has known Johnson since elementary school said the teen always has a smile on his face. 

Many students said they want Johnson's family to know that they’re sending them love and prayers.

Johnson’s mother, Tricia, shared a statement with News4Jax:

The Johnson family is humbled by all of the prayers, love and support from the Fleming Island community. Ben remains in critical condition, and continued prayer is requested for Ben and our family.”

The football team plays a game against county rival Ridgeview at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and News4Jax is told the teams are playing the game in Johnson’s honor.

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