A high school junior died this month after suddenly entering cardiac arrest at the start of a school day.
Blaze Jacobs, 17, went into cardiac arrest shortly after classes began on Monday, Jan. 9 at Western Brown High School in Mount Orab, Ohio. He died after being rushed to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, local news outlet WLWT reported.
“It really does open everybody’s eyes to like, wow, you know. Like, anything can happen,” one of his friends, Kori Yost, told WLWT. “Just like that.”
Raven Woods, a friend who reportedly grew up with Jacobs, told WLWT about the moment she heard the words, “He didn’t make it.”
“Me and my mom just burst into tears,” she said. “I was, like, this is so unreal. He was 17 years old. How is this happening now?”
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Jacobs had a pre-existing heart condition that had previously stopped him from playing football, WLWT reported.
In an announcement, Western Brown principal Heather Cooper said, “Blaze was a very large part of our school community and one of WB’s biggest fans so we know this is going to be a struggle for everyone in our school family.”
Woods recalled that Jacobs’ life was a cycle of “eat, sleep, school.”
“That’s all it was. He loved school,” she said. “He would be at every single football game. Friday night, there in the student section, cheering on.
“And then in the summer, he would love to be at the pool and his grandma’s house. Me and him would always go there,” she added.
Woods said she visited Jacobs’ family soon after the news of his death.
“They just can’t believe it happened, you know. It’s just horrible. They’re staying strong, though,” she said.
A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help Jacobs’ family pay for his medical bills and funeral, which happened on Jan. 14, according to his obituary. The campaign raised $20,625 at the time of writing.