Gov. Evers signs Kai 11 bill into law, educating parents on sudden cardiac arrest
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov. Tony Evers signed the Kai 11 bill into law Tuesday, March 29, to educate parents on the dangers of sudden cardiac arrest in student athletes.
Sixteen-year-old Kai Lermer died back in 2019 from cardiac arrest when he was playing a pickup game of basketball. He had a heart condition unknown to him and his family, despite yearly physicals. His family is hopeful this new law will save lives.
Gov. Tony Evers signed the Kai 11 Bill into law today. It provides parents of student athletes with info on sudden cardiac arrest and also gives them the option of letting their child receive an EKG test. A Waukesha North student, Kai died in 2019 of sudden cardiac arrest. @CBS58pic.twitter.com/1nmiotpsEm— Melissa Zygowicz (@MelissaZygowicz) March 29, 2022
"Kai would be proud of today," his dad Mike Lermer said.
Gov. Evers signed it into law at Waukesha North High School, where Kai Lermer was a student. Mike worked relentlessly for the past three years to get this bill passed. It passed unanimously last year.
"It's going to change the lives of so many families and students in Wisconsin just by educating parents on the risk," Mike said.
The Kai 11 Law requires the WIAA to pass out a form to parents with student athletes that educates them on sudden cardiac arrest. It will also strongly recommend EKG testing.
"It's a silent killer and we just need to do a better job protecting out student athletes," Mike said.
His family also started the Kai Lermer Memorial Fund. The fund gives easier, more affordable access to EKG testing.
"In our testing, we found four students we know of that had life-threatening heart conditions and unfortunately, we've had four to five students that weren't tested and have lost since Kai has passed," Mike said.
"Kai was a three-sport athlete. A standout in each one. Varsity in all of them. But, he still passed. So, if parents don't think this can happen to their kids, it can," Paul Ybarra said.
Paul Ybarra is Kai's Godfather. He said a simple EKG test could have saved his life.
"It is so important parents get EKG screening for their children now. Between 15-21 is the greatest risk of cardiac arrest," he said.
Kai will have a lasting impact on student athletes for years to come.
"Today, I know Kai is flying a little higher, knowing Wisconsin students are a little safer because of the Kai 11 Law. Fly high Kai. We love you, number 11," Mike said.
Those forms educating parents will be passed out at the beginning of each sports season.