'A huge loss:' Waukesha community mourns death of three-sport student athlete

’A huge loss: ’ Waukesha community mourns death of three-sport student athlete

WAUKESHA (CBS 58) -- Hearts are heavy at Waukesha North High School after the sudden loss of student-athlete Kai Lermer, 16.

Last week, the junior collapsed while playing basketball with friends at Grandview Park.

His godfather, Paul Ybarra told CBS 58, he went into cardiac arrest. “He got a little tired, took a little break, and unfortunately collapsed.”

Kai suffered from an undiagnosed heart condition called Wolf Parkinson’s White Syndrome.

After several days of holding on, his parents made the tough decision to take him off life support.

“While his body was strong, organs strong...unfortunately the lack of oxygen to his brain, there just wasn’t enough brain activity to bring him back,” Ybarra said.

Over the weekend, the Waukesha North Boys Track & Field team raced in Kai's honor and won their meet. They wore ‘Fight for Kai’ t-shirts,  created by his classmates while he was in the hospital. The shirts are being sold to help support the Lermer family.

“It’s got his number 11 on it that he wore in basketball, as well as football,” Ybarra said.

His friends also made a GoFundMe page to help pay for his funeral.

Ybarra says Kai’s family is grateful for the outpouring of support. “They can’t put into words how much that means to them. They’re dealing with an amazing loss right now, an incredible loss, a huge loss.”

The family hopes to use some of the funds to buy defibrillators for parks in Waukesha. They would also like to fund CPR classes at area schools to help prevent similar situations in the future.

Funeral services are being held Sunday, April. 7 at Church and Chapel Funeral Home from 1:00-6:00 p.m. The Lermer family encourages people to wear their ‘Fight for Kai’ t-shirts.

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