Knox MacEwen, a 14-year-old Florida boy and member of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC), tragically died after suffering cardiac arrest during a high school 5K race.

Knox MacEwen, a 14-year-old Western High School student in Davie, Florida, died in a tragic accident during a 5K race organized by the school’s Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program. Knox collapsed after finishing the marathon and was promptly rushed to Memorial Hospital Miramar, where medical officials confirmed him dead, according to NBC Miami.

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Jimmy Arrojo, the school’s principal, extended condolences to the MacEwen family and the school community, requesting support during this difficult time. Grief counselors were made available to help students and faculty deal with the loss.

While the student’s public identification was withheld in police remarks, a GoFundMe campaign verified that Knox MacEwen was the young child who tragically died. Knox was active in the JROTC program at Western High School and served in his church’s children’s ministry. Knox’s mother, Julie, had just battled illness, leaving the family with lingering physical and financial hardships. The GoFundMe initiative was started to help the MacEwen family by allowing Knox’s parents, Kevin and Julie, to take time off work to mourn.

Cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart stops beating, affects people of all ages, including children. It is especially problematic in young athletes, as cardiac arrest is the main cause of death. Experts estimate that roughly 200 youngsters die from abrupt cardiac arrest each year. As medical professionals have pointed out, prompt action and awareness are critical in preventing and responding to such events.

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Knox MacEwen’s terrible death serves as a heartbreaking reminder of the necessity of improving cardiac health awareness and the need for steps to prevent cardiac incidents in young people.