The d e a th of a loved one is never easy to accept, especially if it is a young d’eath.
The LaPenna family had to face a huge heartbreak on Friday evening as they lost their beloved son.
Lazar LaPenna was a fourth-grader at East School in Long Beach. The 10-year-old was a part of a Little League team and was actively involved in the sport.
LaPenna was running to first base during his game at Point Lookout Park in Lido Beach on 29th April 2022 when he suddenly suffered from an epileptic seizure. His father Gregg LaPenna, was the coach for his team and was watching everything unfold from the sidelines.
Gregg LaPenna shared that his son had been diagnosed with epilepsy several years ago and the family managed his condition with medication. He further clarified that baseball had nothing to do with his son’s death.
His son loved baseball and was thrilled when he was able to get a hit earlier in the game!
Epilepsy is one of the most common nervous system disorders. It affects both children and adults of all races and ethnic backgrounds. A brain consists of nerve cells that communicate with one another through electric charges. A seizure occurs when there is an abnormal amount of electrical signals interrupting normal brain signals.
There are multiple things that can trigger an epileptic seizure such as high fever, high or low blood sugar, withdrawal from alcohol or drugs, or a concussion. It is only when a child experiences at least two seizures with no known trigger, that they are diagnosed with epilepsy. There are no cures for epilepsy yet, just treatments and management of the condition.
Lazar’s older brother Gerry LaPenna was coaching first-base, when Lazar reached first base, he put an arm on his brother’s shoulder to steady himself but immediately collapsed.
Gregg LaPenna shares that when he looked at the scene, he knew this was not an ordinary seizure. Paramedics arrived at the scene and tried to resuscitate Lazar with CPR but did not succeed.
Posts circulating on social media by Lazar LaPenna’s family and well-wishers talked about how the young boy had been a huge fan of the Mets.
Dr. Jennifer Gallagher, superintendent of the school district where Lazar went to school took to Facebook to address concerns and queries parents and well-wishers had about the t ragic inc ident.
She wrote, “this tragedy is sure to raise many emotions, concerns, and questions for students and staff, particularly for who are close to this family,” adding, “all of our schools have a Crisis Intervention Team made up of a professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel at difficult times such as this.”
As for Little League, they also issued an official statement about the sad incident. They talked about how not only Lazar LaPenna was involved in the program but his family had been deeply involved with them for generations.
The statement read, “our deepest sympathies go out to mother Monique, father and coach Gregg, brothers Gerry and Blaze, and the entire LaPenna family.” It continued, “our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this time.”
Lazar LaPenna’s death has come as a huge shock to both his family and community. He died much too soon.
Please join us in saying a prayer for Lazar LaPenna and his bereaved family.