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Teen Collapses During Basketball Practice at John Bowne High School, Dies: NYPD

John Browne High School (Tdorante10/Wikimedia)

Dec. 26, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez (Updated Feb. 7)

A 16-year-old student died earlier today after collapsing during basketball practice inside a Flushing high school, police said.

Lenny Pierre was practicing inside John Bowne High School at 63-25 Main St. when he collapsed around noon. Responding officers from the 107th Precinct found Pierre unconscious and unresponsive.

The teen was then rushed to New York Presbyterian Hospital- Queens, where he was pronounced dead.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death, and the investigation is ongoing. Reports, however, say Pierre went into cardiac arrest prior to his death.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said he was heartbroken over Pierre’s death.

“As a parent, and as a father of student athletes, I can only imagine the pain and sorrow being felt by Lenny’s family, loved ones and classmates,” he said in a statement.

Update 2/7: The city’s Medical Examiner said yesterday that Pierre died after going into cardiac arrest stemming from a “anatomic anomaly.”

“This young man was born with anatomic anomaly,” said Dr. Barbara Sampson, chief medical examiner. “A major vessel that brings blood to the heart was in an abnormal location and resulted in his cardiac arrest.”

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I’m pretty surprised that a kid could so easily die from sudden cardiac death while in a school environment. That is adults, especially those with poor diets and a lifetime of cholesterol build up, will usually die from heart attacks brought on by a sudden blood blocking clot. Kids, because they haven’t yet the time to build up such cholesterol plaques, are more often than not, subjected to sudden erratic electrical activity of the heart, otherwise referred to as an “arrhythmia” and as such are almost always easily recovered if shocked in time. Further, in a venue such as a school; where one would expect every gym teacher to be trained in CPR and hopefully with the presence of a school nurse trained to deliver emergency care, this should have been a perfect setting for getting the right help immediately. Further, if I recall correctly, all NYC schools are now required to have working Automatic Electronic Defibrillators (AED). Again, as this was a ‘witnessed’ cardiac arrest, it should have been a perfect scenario for bystander CPR, then NYPD EMS quick response and transport to the nearest hospital, which is only several minutes away. I really don’t understand why this kid wasn’t recovered. Unless of course, they forgot to do CPR? No… that’s would be too lame…

Mary F

Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Rest in peace, young lad. Taken too soon.


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