O-Johnson, Jordan

ELDON — A Cardinal High School student athlete is being remembered for his “love of life attitude” following word of his death Monday night.

Jordan Johnson, 16, who would have been a junior this year at CHS, was getting ready for practice when he collapsed, said Superintendent Arnie Snook in a statement issued Tuesday.

“As the Cardinal baseball team gathered for practice, Johnson reported to other players that he felt hot and collapsed to the ground,” said Snook. “CPR was administered and Jordan was transported by ambulance to Ottumwa Regional [Health Center]. Jordan died of heart failure.”

An official death investigation was under way through the State Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Cause of death is pending additional laboratory testing,” John Kraemer, state director of forensics, told the Courier Tuesday. “There were no signs of trauma or foul play associated with this investigation. We’re just waiting on those test results to zero in on what occurred.”

“It is hard for all of us,” said Snook, “staff and students, to realize that the classrooms, halls and athletic fields of Cardinal High School will not be blessed with Jordan’s pleasant, smiling, caring and love of life attitude when school begins in August. Jordan’s death has had a profound impact on everyone who knew him.”

Tuesday morning, Donna Crookham, a counselor and administrator from Southern Iowa Mental Health, said she and other professionals were available at the school so students could talk about what they saw or about how they feel. Being able to share those feelings is healthy, she said, and educators and counselors are watching out for youngsters who are either shutting down or having an extra-hard time coping.

Snook said that upon the news of Johnson’s death Monday evening, several Cardinal teachers and the high school counselor immediately made their way to the high school library to visit with and console team members and students.

“Cardinal [also] arranged for crisis counselors to be available to students and anyone else that needed to talk about the tragedy on Tuesday morning at the high school. Many students and adults gathered at this time to talk to each other, talk to counselors and grieve with each other,” Snook said.

Staff Writer Cindy Toopes contributed to this report.



For your information

Visitation for Jordan Johnson will be held from 4-8 p.m. today at Reece Funeral Home in Ottumwa. His funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Cardinal football field complex. A full obituary appears on Page A4.

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