RI rugby player in ICU after collapse

SINGAPORE - A Raffles Institution (RI) student is in critical condition after collapsing from a heat stroke in school last Wednesday.

Joehann Johari, 14, a Year 2 student and member of the school's C Division rugby team, fainted around 9am while jogging during rugby training. He was sent to KK Women's and Children's Hospital where he has been unconscious since.

He has been warded in the hospital's intensive care unit, where he is hooked up to a ventilation machine to help him breathe. It is understood that he is suffering from liver and kidney failure. He has not undergone any surgery.

In a statement to The Straits Times, RI confirmed the incident, adding that the student is "currently undergoing treatment" and that the school's "staff are in touch with the family to provide any assistance as needed". The school declined further comment.

The Straits Times understands that RI staff have been visiting Joehann daily. The boy's parents have been keeping vigil by his bedside. When contacted, Joehann's mother declined comment.

But it is understood that Joehann, the second of four children, showed no signs of fatigue or illness when he showed up in school that morning for rugby training, which continued during the school holidays. A source close to the family said they are hopeful that Joehann's condition will improve and are awaiting results of an MRI scan of his brain.

Joehann started playing rugby in West View Primary School and gained admission to RI through the Direct School Admission scheme.

Meanwhile, members of the school's rugby teams have been advised to keep themselves hydrated, as the mercury levels are expected to hover around 35 deg C next week.

Said an RI rugby player: "We are hopeful that he will recover. To be safe, we are drinking more water during training."

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