Family of Eighth-grader who collapsed at football game speaks out

Family of Eighth-grader who collapsed at football game speaks out

BOSSIER CITY, La. (KSLA) - It’s been over a month since Rusheon Middle School football player Marvin Johnson Jr. collapsed and stopped breathing at a football game in DeSoto Parish.

But for the first time, Marvin Johnson Jr. and his family are speaking about the night that changed their lives.

“I figured it was just another Tuesday football game, and then all of a sudden I get a call about 8:45 and it just changed my whole life," said Johnson’s father, Marvin Sr.

Marvin and his Rusheon Middle School teammates were playing against North DeSoto Middle School on Oct. 1.

“I remember getting dressed talking to my friends and stuff before we had got on the bus and then after we got on the bus, I don’t remember (anything) after that," he said.

Marvin Jr. was on the field that night when he suddenly collapsed and stopped breathing.

“I was numb," said Marvin Sr. "It was like a call you don’t want to believe that’s real, but it’s an actual real call and for a minute I couldn’t believe it was true.”

Marvin Jr. was soon rushed to the hospital, and then a week later he was being moved to a hospital in New Orleans.

“We were down there, we didn’t know (anybody), and it was just me, (his mother), and Marvin," said Marvin Sr.

Marvin Jr. and his Rusheon Middle School teammates were playing against North DeSoto Middle School on Oct. 1.

“A normal heart (is) suppose to be at the top and the bottom," said Marvin Jr.’s mother Pamela White. “His runs to the side and they think that’s what the problem is so it can be fixed.”

That moment on the field has now changed Marvin Jr.'s entire life — and has also left him feeling confused.

“In one moment you’re normal," he said. "Like you don’t know you don’t have (anything) wrong with you — and then one moment you know have something wrong with you, but you still kinda don’t feel (any) change but you still do at the same time.”

But through all of this, they weren’t expecting so much love from the DeSoto Parish community.

“From the school to the community to all the people that saved my son’s life it was just… it was a wonderful day," said Marvin Sr.

Marvin now carries a portable defibrillator and wears a life vest, and as his family prepares for his upcoming open-heart surgery, they’re grateful to everyone that’s helped them get through this difficult time.

“Thank you is the biggest word I know and I can’t give enough thanks," said Pamela White. "Just keep the prayers going. Cause we need them and just keep them going.”

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