Bronny James, the 18-year-old 6-foot-3 son of LeBron James, is attending classes as a USC freshman and is doing “extremely well” after he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in July, according to his coach Andy Enfield.
“I think everybody is hopeful that Bronny will return to the court,” coach said (via the Associated Press). “We just have to be patient and take it step by step.”
After Bronny went into cardiac arrest during a basketball workout at the university he underwent evaluations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center led by Dr. Merije Chukumerije and follow-up evaluations at the Mayo Clinic and Atlantic Health/Morristown Medical Center.
As a result, the student-athlete was diagnosed with “an anatomically and functionally significant Congenital Heart Defect,” according to the statement shared Friday.
“The probable cause of Mr. James’s sudden cardiac arrest has been identified,” the James family wrote. “It is an anatomically and functionally significant congenital heart defect which can and will be treated. We are very confident in Bronny’s full recovery and return to basketball in the very near future.”
What are Congenital Heart Defects (CHDs)?
CHDs are present at birth and can affect the structure of a baby’s heart and the way it works. They can affect how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. CHDs can vary from mild (such as a small hole in the heart) to severe (such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart).
About 1 in 4 babies born with a heart defect has a critical CHD (also known as critical congenital heart defect).1 Babies with a critical CHD need surgery or other procedures in the first year of life.
Types of Heart Defects
Listed below are examples of different types of CHDs. The types marked with a star (*) are considered critical CHDs.
- Atrial Septal Defect
- Atrioventricular Septal Defect
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Double-outlet Right Ventricle
- d-Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Ebstein Anomaly
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- Interrupted Aortic Arch
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Single Ventricle
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
- Tricuspid Atresia
- Truncus Arteriosus
- Ventricular Septal Defect
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms for CHDs depend on the type and severity of the particular defect. Some defects might have