‘We’re a family’: Gainesville school helps student’s family with medical expenses

14-year-old Luke Cabe is recovering in the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest last Thursday.
Published: May. 10, 2023 at 5:34 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A high school football player is recovering in the hospital days after suffering a medical emergency after practice.

14-year-old Luke Cabe suffered a cardiac arrest last Thursday. The freshman attends Saint Francis Catholic Academy in Gainesville.

Luke’s family created a GoFundMe page to help with hospital expenses, as well as a Facebook page to provide updates on his condition.

Head football coach James Langham has not known his center player for long, but said Luke’s smile and energy are contagious.

“As a person, Luke was very caring. He’s also a little bit of a knucklehead, to be honest with you. He liked to do jokes, very fun, playful, but caring,” said Langham.

Langham said he was training Luke to be the next starting center.

“As an athlete, he was someone who tried. He really, I think, developed into this love of the game,” said Langham. “He was busting his behind, really giving every bit of effort he had, he was out there grinding and there was no excuses.”

The school’s principal said the money raised from a Mother’s Day card fundraiser will be donated to Luke’s family. They also shared the family’s links online to tell people about Luke’s hospitalization.

Luke’s teammates aren’t losing hope.

“At this point in time, the team is going to be wearing number 55 on the back of their helmet. That was his number for his football program,” said principal Jason Acosta. “We’re going to be doing everything we can to bring awareness to him and more importantly, do what we can to help support him and the family as much as humanly possible.”

Luke’s family appreciates everyone’s help. In a statement to WCJB, they said:

“We would like to thank everyone involved for their quick actions, they saved Luke’s life. A special thank you to Autumn, Coach, fire station 24, medical staff, and everyone involved in Luke’s care. We are grateful for the enormous amount of love, support, and encouragement from SFCA families, our families, friends, and many, many others during this critical time. Please follow Luke Strong on Facebook for updates on his recovery.”

Hundreds are following Luke’s recovery online, including school administrators.

“We’re here, we’re a family, he’s part of our wolf pack,” said Acosta. “We want to make sure we continue to do what we can to help his family and him.”

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