Archive for Friday, April 17, 2009

Student dies in his sleep

High school junior won javelin contest earlier in day

A Tonganoxie High School student died in his sleep Thursday night from what is believed to be natural causes.

April 17, 2009


Jeremy Elliot finished first in the javelin on Thursday at the Tonganoxie Invitational with a throw of 142 feet, 8 inches. Elliott’s dad, Rex Elliott, is in the background. Jeremy died in his sleep Thursday night from a heart condition.

Jeremy Elliot finished first in the javelin on Thursday at the Tonganoxie Invitational with a throw of 142 feet, 8 inches. Elliott’s dad, Rex Elliott, is in the background. Jeremy died in his sleep Thursday night from a heart condition.

— On a picture-perfect spring day Thursday, Jeremy Elliott threw the javelin 142 feet, 8 inches — his best so far this season and good for first place in front of the home crowd.

The excited Tonganoxie High School junior, a multi-sport athlete, snagged a big gold medal. A little later, he and a friend picked up the outfit he planned to wear to tonight’s prom.

But Elliott won’t be attending prom.

The 17-year-old died in his sleep Thursday night from what an autopsy determined was a heart condition.

Family friend Kurt Young said that Elliott had the condition “for a little while” and that doctors hoped he’d “grow out of it.”

“He was in great physical condition,” Young said. “He was a specimen.”

Elliott thought his heart was racing Thursday evening, Young said, but he went to eat and felt better.

“There really wasn’t any concern,” Young said. “He’d had that before on multiple occasions.”

Elliott was involved in football, wrestling and track at THS and also was a member of the school’s powerlifting team.

And he had the academics to match his presence in athletics.

A member of the National Honor Society and a regular on the honor roll, Elliott was recognized at the school’s Educational Excellence Banquet in March on the Kansas University campus. To be recognized at the ceremony, students must maintain a 3.6 grade-point average for at least the previous two semesters.

He enjoyed fishing and was an active Boy Scout who nearly had completed the requirements for Eagle Scout. He’ll receive that honor posthumously.

Dirk Scates, senior minister at Tonganoxie Christian Church, announces THS track meets.

“I was watching him throw javelin,” Scates said Friday. “As I announced last night and saw that he won, I thought ‘Wow.’ That was huge for him to win with 142 feet and some change. … Just a good kid. He had a great attitude. I was thrilled to see him win the javelin.”

Scates and a number of other adults gathered Friday at Tonganoxie High School to do what they could to help students as they grieved.

“There really isn’t much you can say,” THS football coach Mark Elston said. “About all you can do is lend a shoulder if they need a hug, you give them a hug and let them talk if they want to talk.

“Some kids wanted to talk and some kids wanted to keep things inside. It was really good to all be around each other and not in isolation.”

Elliott’s death comes at a time that three other THS students are battling serious health issues.

“The Tonganoxie kids have been through a lot emotionally in the last month,” Elston said. “A lot of it came out in that room.”


TongieMom 5 years ago worries. These young people and the community are raising money for these families and it will make a tangible difference in their lives and of those effected by such tragedy. They have wasted no time in the past few weeks and are already putting in the effort to make a difference when and how they can. I'm excited to see the long term effects and goals of these efforts (again, this has happened so suddenly and has been a shock to everyone).

The spirit of these young people...those who are fighting and the one who passed so suddenly have made a difference in the lives of so many...


Strontius 5 years ago

Maybe rather than lighting a candle and saying words to nothingness, people could offer kind words directly to his family and donate some capital to the many organizations working to combat these illnesses. You know, something that actually makes a tangible difference...


seriouscat 5 years ago

My deepest and most heart felt condolences to the loved ones of this young man.


TongieMom 5 years ago

Prayers are with the Elliott family and all of Jeremy's friends. These young people have experienced the unimaginable in recent weeks with Connor, Austin & now Jeremy.


trinity 5 years ago

i am so very sorry for your loss. thoughts and prayers with family, friends, and fellow students at the high school.


middlemgmt 5 years ago

The unthinkable happened to this family and my heart goes out the them. My condolences to all of Jeremy's friends and family.


yellowhouse 5 years ago

must have been a heart problem. A bad heart is the silent killer of children.

my 10yr. old sister died suddenly from an undiagnosed heart defect.


Deja Coffin 5 years ago

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of this young man. Very sad. I'm sure he will be deeply missed. Again, my deepest condolences to all those who knew and loved this young man.


tjhoops69 5 years ago

My condolences to the family, God bless and know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers.


Jersey_Girl 5 years ago

Pywacket - my condolences to you, your daughter and her friend's family.


mommyoffour 5 years ago

Thoughts and prayers to this family.


cheeseburger 5 years ago

The Tonganoxie school district sure has had their share of tragedies recently. Prayers to all who are affected.


Multidisciplinary 5 years ago

Lives changed forever. My deepest sympathies to family and friends.


sunflower_sue 5 years ago

My prayers are with Jeremy's family.


Scattered 5 years ago

Each day of life is so precious.....

My prayers are with the family and friends of this young man. I am so very sorry for your tragic loss. May God hold you close.


RoeDapple 5 years ago

Sad, very sad..............


jonas_opines 5 years ago

Still in early enough.

Loved Ones and Family: Read Further at Your Own Peril. Or better yet, don't.


Pywacket 5 years ago

Deepest condolences to Jeremy's family and friends.

This brings back very painful memories. A Baldwin girl who was one of my daughter's kindergarten friends died in her sleep a few years ago at a hotel, where she and her mom were staying for a tournament (softball, I think).

We hadn't seen them for a few years, but it really hit home, as you can imagine. In her case, it took quite a while for pathologists to figure out what was wrong--turned out to be a very rare heart problem. She had seemed the picture of health, which is probably true of this young man as well.

This is the ultimate nightmare for any parent. If you've got 'em, hug 'em a little tighter tonight.


demonfury 5 years ago

“It is believed he died of natural causes. What kind of a "Natural Cause" takes the life of a 17 year old multi-sport athelete, in his sleep? What a crock of crap. Find me a decent certified doctor who believes it is natural for this boy to just die in his sleep. If I were one of his parents, I would be demanding a whole lot more of information than that. Or perhaps the parents are not releasing the information for some reason they do not wish to discuss. There is a whole lot more here than meets the eye. Will we ever know?


Jersey_Girl 5 years ago

This just sucks. My thoughts are with his family and friends.


Ralph Reed 5 years ago

Light a candle for Jeremy and his family.


Music_Girl 5 years ago

This is terribly sad and my heart and prayers go out to the family and friends of this young man.


bobberboy 5 years ago

You just don't die from natural causes while your sleeping when your an athletic 17 year old do you ?


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