CAROLINE COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—A 15-year-old high school sophomore died Tuesday afternoon after he suffered from cardiac arrest during gym class.
The Caroline High School community was stunned by the sudden death of Thomas "Tommy" Wendell Wheeler II on Oct. 15. Wheeler collapsed while running during his afternoon gym glass. CPR was performed and a defibrillator was used in an attempt to get his heart beating again. Wheeler was rushed to Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center and later pronounced dead.
"We've been hangin' in there," said Jamal Moore, a good friend of Wheeler's who considered the late teen his cousin. They met at Jericho Baptist Church, where Wheeler served as secretary in the youth ministry.
"He never wanted to miss a church service," Moore said. "Actually on Sunday he was actually recognized for having honor roll, or straight A's I think it was."
Friends of Wheeler say that although he was quiet and kept to himself, he was passionate about his faith and the Washington Redskins.
"He was a in-the-heart Redskins fan," Moore said.
While the medical examiner continues to investigate the cause of Wheeler's death, his friends are holding on to memories of the student and keeping the faith that they'll see him again someday.
"We're pretty sure that we will," Moore said. "That's the major way how we get through."
Wheeler's parents, the deacon and deaconess at their church, ask for everyone's prayers during this difficult time. The church may plan a candlelight vigil in their son's honor.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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