SARANAC, Mich. — Doctors say heart complications are what led to a 12-year-old football player's collapse and eventual death earlier this week.
Spectrum Health officials confirm with 13 ON YOUR SIDE Skylar Lasby suffered a sudden cardiac death from an abnormal heartbeat. Officials say additional tests are being done for heart disease, but that Lasby didn't show any signs of significant trauma or other disease or infections.
Lasby just started 7th grade at Saranac Junior/Senior High School. He was at football practice when he collapsed during a non-contact drill Wednesday, Aug. 28. He required immediate medical attention that night and was airlifted to the hospital, where he later died.
In 2011, Wes Leonard, a Fennville high school basketball player, died from a sudden cardiac arrest. Since then, his family formed the Wes Leonard Heart Team, which is a non-profit whose goal is to AEDs in schools that don't have them or can't afford them. Friday would have been Leonard's 25th birthday.
Deaths like Leonard's is relatively rare, killing about 5 out of 100,000 people under the age of 40 in Michigan. However, the high profile death of Zeke Upshaw, a Grand Rapids Drive player, in March of 2018 put the focus on sudden cardiac deaths in athletes again.
A dozen or so counselors were on site at Saranac schools following Lasby's death to help students and teachers process the sudden news. The school also brought in a dogs from animal crisis response teams to assist with grieving students. Lasby had been playing for a community youth league, but he had made friends with many members of the high school football teams.
On Thursday night, the Saranac varsity football team played their first game of the season against Beal City -- holding a moment of silence for Lasby. Players also wore #2 stickers on their helmets in honor of the 12-year-old's jersey number.
The community will be holding a vigil in honor of Lasby on Friday night. It starts at 9 p.m. at the Saranac football stadium. Skylar's funeral has been scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 4. His obituary said he enjoyed football, fishing, and camping and he was an "avid" U-M fan.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with expenses. So far, it has surpassed the $5,000 goal with more than $11,000 being raised.
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