North DeSoto Middle students honor football player who collapsed at game

Rusheon Middle School student Marvin Johnson Jr. (player 57) was made an honorary player at...
Rusheon Middle School student Marvin Johnson Jr. (player 57) was made an honorary player at North Desoto Middle School Friday morning.(Maranda Whittington)
Updated: Oct. 25, 2019 at 1:18 PM CDT
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STONEWALL, La. (KSLA) — North DeSoto Middle School students gathered in their gym Friday morning to honor Rusheon Middle School student Marvin Johnson Jr., his family and everyone who worked to save his life at the beginning of October.

Johnson was playing in a football game against North DeSoto Middle when he collapsed and stop breathing. Two off-duty law officers and a nurse were among the many who helped save his life.

DeSoto Parish Sheriff Jayson Richardson presented the his office’s lifesaving award to Shreveport police Detective Richard Turpen, DeSoto sheriff’s Deputy Larry McClosky and his wife, Brandy.

The school also presented Johnson with a necklace, a bracelet, a football signed by the entire team and a jersey making him an honorary player.

“To see them give of themselves and raise money to give to another program, to another school and to provide something for someone else, it’s heartwarming," DeSoto schools Superintendent Clay Corley said.

"It’s some of those things that you think you’re getting through to students and you never know if you really are until something like this happens and then you realize they’re getting it.”

Students also presented Johnson with a $1,500 check to help him buy a new defibrillator for his school.

Johnson’s teammate Kaiden Gardner was at the game that night and afterward began raising money to purchase more AEDs for their school.

Gardner reached back out to KSLA News 12 saying the Bossier City Optimist Club will match the $460 he’s raised to help him buy more AEDs.

Gardner also said the Louisiana District of Optimist International plans to adopt his campaign as part of its international programs.

He said a donor stopped by their school to drop off a $500 check, and he is planning a trip to Baton Rouge to speak with legislators and see about changing state laws around this issue.

Corley, who also was at the game, said the district purchased more than 10 AEDs, plans to train more of their staffers on how to use them and will begin EKG screenings for their student-athletes.

Members of Marvin’s family attended Friday’s gathering.

His father, Marvin Johnson Sr., who spoke to the crowd and thanked everyone for what they did for his son.

“I’m overwhelmed with so much support and love and all the blessings that my son has been receiving. And it really feels good."

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