Cause of teen's sudden death determined

January 16, 2008 3:08:14 AM PST
The sudden death of a Hitchcock middle school basketball player has left her classmates in shock and her family in mourning. Thirteen-year-old Kailynn Boclair collapsed during a game Monday night. On Tuesday, the medical examiner determined she had a previously undiagnosed heart defect.

"The only thing I saw, her arm was shaking a little," said Lois Guidry, Kailynn''s grandmother. "At the time, I couldn't see her face. I just saw that part."

Guidry rushed to Crosby Middle School's gym the moment she heard Kailynn had collapsed during the basketball game.

"She ran towards the free throw line and collapsed," said assistant coach Robert Walker. "No symptoms, signs or anything like that."

Both teams' coaches rushed to help the seventh grader. A team mother, who happens to be a nurse, administered CPR to Kailynn. School offiicals say an automated external defibrillator was also used to try to save her live.

"They're at all athletic competitions so they can be used as they were last night," said Hitchcock ISD Superintendent Michael Bergman.

Kailynn collapsed about 6:45pm Monday, with just about a minute left in the game. When family members arrived at a nearby hospital, they got the news they feared the most.

"They told me they did all they could, but her heart just never came back," said one distraught relative with whom we spoke.

While Kailynn was given a physical at school, family members now wonder if more should be done to protect children who play sports.

"I feel like the kids should maybe let a heart specialist treat them and if the school can't pay for it, they should tell the parents they have to have their heart checked out," said Rosa Shinette, Kailynn's great aunt.

Word of Kailynn's death spread quickly. Grief counselors were sent to Crosby Middle School to speak with those struggling with the loss.

"We know if it was her time to go, it was just her time. We can't be mad at that," said student Chris Scott. "You never think it'll happen to someone we knew down here in Hitchcock and only 13 and in the seventh grade."

The medical examiner says Kailynn had a previously undiagnosed congenital cardiac abnormality that caused her death, an answer to a mother's question why, but one that's providing little relief from the pain of losing a child so young.

Kailynn was an active young girl. She also played volleyball. Family members say they had no idea that she suffered from a heart problem.

This is the second time this has happened in a week. Last week we told you about a young girl from Sugar Land who passed away.

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