Boy, 14, Dies After Running A 5K At School

A 14-year-old boy has tragically died after suffering a cardiac arrest while taking part in a 5K run at school.
Credit: GoFundMe & NBC 6 South Florida

A Florida teenager has tragically died after taking part in a high school 5K run. 

Knox MacEwen, 14, was a member of the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) program at his Western High School in Davie, Florida.

The US Armed Forces sponsors it and teaches young boys and girls ‘self-discipline, self-confidence, and leadership skills’.

Miramar Police tell NBC Florida that officers responded to a medical emergency at his high school – where the run was taking place – at about 9am on November 4.

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Devastatingly, MacEwen had reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest after taking part in the run and he was rushed to hospital, where doctors pronounced the teenager dead.

The school’s principal, Jimmy Arrojo, announced the heartbreaking news in a statement.

It read: “I am saddened to share tragic news impacting our Wildcat community. One of our JROTC students passed away this morning after being transported to the hospital.

“I want to offer my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones, teachers, and classmates as they mourn this great loss.”

Know MacEwen
Knox MacEwen reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest after taking part in a high school 5K run. Credit: NBC 6 South Florida

According to Mayo Clinic, a cardiac arrest is when there is a sudden loss of all heart activity due to an irregular heart rhythm.

This leads to the person becoming unconscious and without any immediate treatment, sudden cardiac arrest can lead to death.

Symptoms that might occur before sudden cardiac arrest include chest discomfort, shortness of breath and pounding heart called palpitations. However, they often occur with no warning.

The American Heart Association notes that over 356,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur each year in the United States.

Mayo Clinic also states that sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in young athletes.

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A GoFundMe page has been set up for MacEwen’s family, and it’s revealed in the description that the teenager’s mum is still ‘physically and financially recovering’ from a ‘hard-fought’ battle with cancer over the last year.

It reads: “On November 4th, 2023, the MacEwen family suddenly and tragically lost their beloved 14-year-old son, Knox.

“He was a revered member of his local community – a JROTC student, a volunteer with the kids ministry at his home church; and he was a beloved brother, son, grandson, nephew and friend.

“The purpose of this fundraiser to help with funeral expenses, and to allow Knox’s parents, Kevin and Julie, to take some time off of work to grieve.”

“Any gifts will go directly to the MacEwen family, and are deeply appreciated,” the page adds.

At the time of writing, the fundraiser has raised just under $79,000 – surpassing its target of $30,000.

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Written by Rosario Monachino

Rosario is a content editor at IGV who specialises in film, TV and entertainment news. He has a degree in English and Film from the University of Salford and a masters in Journalism from Liverpool John Moores University.