Local mom says she was 'blindsided' after son died of sudden cardiac arrest, here's what you can do

NOW: Local mom says she was ’blindsided’ after son died of sudden cardiac arrest, here’s what you can do

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The eldest son of Lakers superstar Lebron James collapsed Monday during a USC basketball practice after suffering an alleged cardiac arrest.

Bronny James, 18, was stable Tuesday but the CDC says even though sudden cardiac arrest is rare among young people, about 2,000 teens or young adults in the U.S. die each year.

"We were saddened to hear about his sudden cardiac arrest, we know how that feels," said Patty Lermer, a Brookfield mother who lost her then-16-year-old son, Kai, unexpectedly in 2019.

Lermer said it's unfortunate not everyone who suffers a cardiac arrest can be saved.

"He had a sudden cardiac arrest playing a friendly game of football," she said. "Unfortunately, he passed away April 3, we had to take him off of life support."

The mother told CBS 58 News that her active teen was in the intensive care unit for about nine days. The cause -- an undiagnosed heart condition.

"He was a healthy triathlete, he was rarely ever sick," she explained.

Kai's parents have since become advocates for EKG screenings -- a simple test, Lermer says, could have saved her son's life.

"The standardized physicals are not acceptable, the stethoscope is a 200-year technology," she added.

The Kai Lermer Memorial Fund is hosting its fourth annual Kai 11 Save a Heart Mission EKG testing awareness event on Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. (subject to change depending on how many show up) for people ages 13 to 21.

"I know there's a lot of parents out there that might think, 'Oh, it won't happen to my son, he's so healthy'...that was Kai, and we just don't want the parents to be blindsided, like us."

Testing fee is $20 if registered before Aug. 1; afterward the fee is $25. No walk-ins will be allowed.

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