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More Heart Testing for Johnson of Highland

November 08, 1995|DANA HADDAD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

PALMDALE — A heart problem might end the athletic career of Highland High football player Dionshea Johnson.

Johnson, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound senior running back and receiver, collapsed after last week's game against Littlerock and was hospitalized for chest pains and breathing problems.

He was released after three hours, when doctors said Johnson probably suffered from dehydration and flu symptoms. But an examination Tuesday revealed an irregular heart beat, said Vercenia Scott, Johnson's mother.

"Right now he's not allowed near the football field," Scott said. "The doctor doesn't want anything to excite him."

Johnson is scheduled to undergo a battery of tests Thursday at the UCLA Medical Center.

"I feel kind of sick," he said. "Hopefully, I will go to college and play ball. That's my goal. But it's on hold right now until I see a specialist."

Highland Coach Lin Parker said he was gravely concerned about Johnson when he collapsed.

"When I saw the paramedics working on him, I thought, 'This was not a normal athletic injury,' " Parker said. " 'He could check out on us right now.' "

Said Johnson: "I was very scared. I thought there was something really wrong. I felt a pain in my chest and drowsiness. It was hurting so much, I couldn't breathe.

"They tell me my football career is very questionable right now."

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