Bronny James is doing much better since his shocking cardiac arrest earlier this week. The son of basketball great LeBron James and his wife Savannah had a health scare during a training session on Monday morning at the Galen Center on the USC campus, where the guard is committed to playing for the team next year.
Luckily, James is in stable condition after being rushed to Cedars Sinai Medical Center's ICU after he fell unconscious. While his parents are optimistic about his recovery, according to TMZ, the question remains: how could an 18-year-old who appeared in good health suddenly have his heart stop beating?
“Since they said it was a cardiac situation, we have to presume that the heart actually stopped. When the heart stops, we have to have that rhythm restored,” Marlon Everett, MD., chairman of cardiology at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago who has not treated James, tells EBONY.
The cause of Bronny’s cardio episode could be genetic. “It’s often related to some sort of congenital abnormality that may have not been detected,” he explains. “Just because his father is one of the greatest athletes in the world doesn’t stop things from being passed down that could make him susceptible to cardiac arrest."
According to Dr. Everett, the next step from Bronny should be a battery of tests to see exactly what happened. Doctors will look for congenital and structural heart problems that may exist and genetic issues that may or may not be abnormal.
“There would be a discussion with Bronny, his parents and his physicians. If they find something that’s reversible, great. If they find something congenital or structural, they’ll have to make a decision whether or not to continue with his athletic career.
“For lack of better words, he died on the court, and most of the time, you don’t get a second chance to die,” exclaims Dr. Everett.
For parents who have kid athletes in the family and are concerned about their heart health, Dr. Everett advises a few tips. “Make sure they don’t get lighted-headed, stay away from energy drinks and anabolic steroids and avoid dehydration,” he suggests.