The Michigan 16-year-old who died while making the winning shot to cap off his team’s undefeated season last night unknowingly suffered from an enlarged heart.
The Ottawa County medical examiner determined after an autopsy today that Wes Leonard suffered cardiac arrest as a result of the condition.
Leonard passed away last night after paramedics attempted to perform CPR on him after he collapsed at the end of the game. Leonard’s family told CBS News their son had no known previous heart condition.
“This was a total shock,” the family said. “He was ‘like a man’ and such an athletic boy, in seemingly perfect condition.”
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart’s ability to pump blood is decreased because the heart’s main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, is enlarged and weakened, according to WebMD.
The condition can be hereditary or acquired, and could possibly have been the result of a virus. Associated symptoms include significant shortness of breath and heart failure. The condition cannot necessarily be detected during a routine health screen unless the patient is symptomatic.
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