Baker County High student hospitalized after collapsing during tennis practice

Pastor says Ryne Jacobs, 17, is now alert and responsive

BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – A Baker County High School senior was hospitalized after collapsing during tennis practice Wednesday.

Loved ones said Ryne Jacobs’ heart stopped during practice.

Jacobs’ pastor at Glen Baptist Church, Chas Rowland, said the 17-year-old’s coach rushed to help, giving the teenager CPR, and then a deputy and paramedics stepped in.

“They worked tirelessly for hours to try and stabilize him,” Rowland said.

Jacobs was taken to a hospital, where Rowland said Jacobs was in critical condition. Then there was a glimmer of hope around 1:30 a.m. Thursday.

“He kind of stabilized, and his heart got into rhythm and started working again,” Rowland said.

Later on Thursday, loved ones learned even more good news. Rowland told News4Jax that Jacobs is now alert and responsive, opening his eyes and breathing a little on his own.

Rowland said this is an unexpected health problem for Jacobs, who’s a known swimmer and tennis player for Baker County High.

“His warm-up is a 500-yard swim just to warm up for his exercises,” Rowland said. “The idea that he has any kind of health problems, especially a heart problem, is just mind-boggling.”

On Wednesday night, Glen Baptist Church held a prayer gathering for Jacobs. Rowland said Jacobs is a fighter and they have faith he’ll recover soon.

“He’s just the all-American kid and he loves Jesus,” Rowland said. “And we believe God has so much in store for him and we know he’s got a long life ahead of him as he fights through this.”

Rowland said it’s unclear how long Jacobs will be in the hospital. At last check, according to the pastor, Jacobs was in stable condition.

The pastor said Jacobs’ progress is a miracle. Rowland said he belives the prayers from the community are working and he’s asking for everyone to keep praying for Jacobs so the teen can come home soon.

About the Author:

Reports weeknights for The Ten O'Clock News and News4Jax at 11.