Students and staff of a Winnipeg private school are mourning a Grade 11 student athlete who collapsed during a soccer practice Wednesday night. Grief counsellors met students at St. John’s-Ravenscourt when they arrived on Thursday morning, hours after learning of the death of Evan Dupuis. “We made sure they were attended to,” said SJR head of school Stephen Johnson. “Every class he was in was a class where people would be looking at an empty chair and thinking about it.” On Thursday, the teen’s teammates gathered and offered a prayer near the field where he fell.
The incident occured at a varsity soccer tryout. As the practice wound down, the team was working on light sprints when the student lost consciousness. While one parent in the audience — a doctor — rushed forward to perform CPR, a student fetched one of SJR’s two defibrillator machines. The doctor attempted to rescucitate the boy with the defibrillator until paramedics arrived. The teen was rushed to Children’s Hospital, where he died. In a letter to parents and students, Johnson described the student as a “wonderful friend” with a “quiet, good nature and kind heart.” Johnson praised the coaches, parents and students at the practice for taking quick and decisive steps to try to save the teen’s life. “I was very proud with the way they responded to a really shocking event,” he said, noting SJR students received training in CPR.