Balloon release tonight for local boy who died during cross-country practice

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PRESTON — People who are looking for a way to show their love for 12-year-old Isaac Johnson, who died Sunday, Oct. 1 from heart failure, are invited to bring a balloon to release Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 5 p.m.

The event, organized by family friend Haley Judd, will be held in the field behind the Preston Junior High.

Johnson was participating in a cross-country practice on Wednesday Sept. 27, when he went into cardiac arrest.

“He had just crossed the highway and told his friend he didn’t feel good. They went into Craner Field to see if they could get a drink when he collapsed,” said Johnson’s mother, Becky.

Johnson’s coach usually runs with her team, but this day had decided to drive. Because of that, she had her phone and was able to call for help, said Becky.

Cuyler Stoker, a police officer from the Preston Police Department, administered CPR on the young man until paramedics arrived and he could be transported by ambulance to Franklin County Medical Center, then on to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City by life flight.

Johnson was born with a defective valve in his heart and underwent open heart surgery when he was seven years old to correct the problem. He enjoyed an active lifestyle and had been cleared to participate in sports when he collapsed.

A fund has been opened up at Lewiston State Bank to receive funds from the many people asking about ways they can donate to the family, posted Becky’s sister, Christina Talbot, on Facebook.

“He was definitely his mother’s world,” said Becky. She expressed gratitude to the community for the outpouring of support and love she has felt. “We have been embraced since we moved back,” she said. “So many people have shown love and support to him (Isaac) and in turn to me,” she said.

Becky said she feels that support is “the reward for living in a small town. Everyone rallies around and people are so close,” she said.

Isaac’s friends at Preston Junior High decorated his locker with notes and wore their best dress in his honor. Friends at Preston High School did the same.

Isaac was “very kind and always wanted to include everyone. He will be there to catch the balloons,” Becky said.

Funeral services will be held in the Preston South Stake Center, 55 East 100 South, Preston, on Saturday, Oct. 7, at 1 p.m.

This story originally appeared in the Preston Citizen. It is posted here with permission.

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