WAUKESHA – After news broke of Lebron James’s son Bronny suffering a sudden cardiac event, Patty Lermer renewed her push to get kids and teens EKG tests to detect any possible hidden heart problems.
“After the interview regarding Bronny James, our numbers went up very quickly for registrations.” Lermer told me at an event in Waukesha where over 500 students were expected to undergo the simple examination Wednesday.
Lermer has headed the Kai Lermer Memorial Fund since her son’s death in 2019 while playing basketball in Grandview Park at only 16-years-old. She says an EKG could have detected the condition that ultimately ended his life, which was well hidden given Kai’s otherwise good health.
“When we found out that an EKG could have diagnosed Kai’s Wolff-Parkinson-White condition, we were completely blindsided. We recommend everyone get tested.”
Lermer’s message has clearly resonated with several parents, including Lisa Buhle from Delafield, who’s child was in line waiting for their own EKG test when I spoke to her.
“I think it’s really important, especially since these technology options are so available and relatively low-cost today. Literally it takes longer to put the leads on than it does to run the test. We should all have a baseline [for] our kids.” Buhle’s son is a mountain biker, as is she, so cardiovascular health is front and center for her family. “We’re just making sure we’re not leaving anything on the table.”
The Waukesha Fire Department was also on-site teaching kids the basics of CPR and chest compressions. Fire Inspector Tom Koerner was leading the instruction, as well as promoting Waukesha’s status as a Pulse Point community. He told me how the app can connect people to an automated external defibrillator, or AED.
“Pulse Point is an app that everyone can go to. They can then find out where an AED is in real time. It will send a message to them, and if it’s in a public space such as a park, they can go to that AED, call our dispatch, they’ll give them a code, and it gets them right into that AED so they can grab it and use it.”
For more info on the Kai Lermer Memorial Fund, as well as the next EKG testing event in your community, check out their Facebook page.