Family of teenager Waukesha who died of heart disease facilitates children’s ECG check

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) – Kai Lermer is your standout high school student. A triathlete, Kai is an honor student at North Waukesha High School.

“He was an influencer,” his father, Mike Lermer, said. “Keeping the team upbeat through jokes. Just an all-round lovely kid. Always smiling.”

Kai died suddenly in 2019 at the age of 16. The cause was an undiagnosed heart condition.

Mike said: “It’s overwhelming with the amount of support we’ve received over the years. “We want to give back to the community.”

Mike founded the Kai Lermer Memorial Fund with Kai’s mother, Patty. They started by placing AEDs in the parks and awarding some scholarships. After learning their son’s fate might have been different had he received an electrocardiogram (EKG), they decided to take action.

“We took the initiative to know, when we learned about EKG screening, that we could really make a difference and save young lives,” says Mike. “It’s all about education.”

In partnership with The Max Schewitz Fondation – HeartSmart EKG, the Kai Lermer Memorial Foundation held its third Annual EKG Test and Sudden Heart Awareness Day in Waukesha. Approximately 500 students from 27 communities in the region were able to receive an EKG test, administered by HeartSmart EKG medical professionals.

The Max Schewitz Foundation – HeartSmart EKG existed in 2006. Tuesday, the organization celebrated 100,000 students who were screened.

Jeanne Coogan, board member of The Max Schewitz Foundation – HeartSmart EKG, said: “We see students who may be at increased risk for potential heart disease at every screening. “A simple electrocardiogram will find more than a physical exam. The hope is that we can raise awareness so that families are aware that this is a risk and they need to be consulted. doctor’s opinion and this can become a regular part of the sport.”

Kai’s parents are grateful to be able to keep their son’s legacy alive while encouraging parents to have their child screened.

“A standard fitness only catches 10% of undiagnosed heart conditions. EKG testing can catch up to 88%,” explains Mike. “One in 300 students has some type of undiagnosed heart condition. Parents, get your child checked out.”

“It was exhilarating and also a little sad. I wish I was one of those parents who took my son in for a check-up,” Patty said, adding that she knew her son would be happy with the job that he did. they are doing today in honor of the boy. “He sees that and I know he’s going to be so proud of the community. He’s going to be so proud.”

The Kai Lermer Memorial Fund will provide more screenings in the future.

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