Suburban 4th grader dies after heart ailment

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Ambulance 04

BARRINGTON, Ill. – A 10-year-old boy from suburban Barrington, Ill., died after a heart ailment.

Johnny Towler, 10, was a fourth grader at Grove Avenue Elementary School in Barrington. Tuesday was the first day back to school after winter break and students and teachers were coping with the death of one of their classmates.

It was first reported that the child died from complications possibly from the flu. WGN has confirmed the child died from a heart ailment.

“When anything like this happens, I think the whole school is impacted whether or not they know the family because we’re a family,” Patricia Cellupica, a parent at the school, said.

“We’re just scared. We’re very sad for the family and our kids and all the other kids too. How do you prevent this?” Ken Rusin, a parent at the school, said.

Johnny died early in the morning on New Year’s Eve after being admitted to the hospital. A virus had attacked his heart.

The director of communications at the Barrington school issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of one of our students, who was very much loved by the Barrington 220 community. We have extra counselors on hand this week for any students or staff who need support and our thoughts are with the student’s family during this difficult time.”

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