Teen, 14, dies of heart attack; family needs help

Posted by: Melissa Johnson - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A 14-year-old Montgomery teen has died from an apparent heart attack.

It happened Wednesday afternoon at the Floyd Community Center.  Now his family is not only struggling to cope with their loss, but also, how they'll come up with the money to pay for his burial.

Deshawn Conner spent many afternoons shooting hoops with his friends and siblings at the Floyd Community Center.

His cousin, Chanty'e Edwards, said, "I guess that was a way for them to stay out of trouble and stay out of the streets."

But that basketball court was also where Deshawn spent his last afternoon.

"He was playing basketball, and he dropped down and crawled to the other side of the gym. He collapsed, and he was gasping for air," said his mother Tammy Conner.

"They thought he was playing at first," said Chanty'e, "But when they realized something was wrong, they got help. The lady that works there called the medics."

Paramedics immediately worked to revive Deshawn there on the court, but he didn't make it.  Doctors say he died from a heart attack caused by a thick muscle in his heart.  His parents, Tammy and David Conner, say Deshawn had passed out before during strenuous sports, but when they took him to the hospital, doctors never found anything wrong.

David Conner said, "We took him to get an MRI, and they said they couldn't pick anything up, that nothing was wrong.  And the doctor said last night, a thick muscle behind the heart wouldn't show up.  He said a lot of athletes die like that. I tried to tell Deshawn. maybe these sports aren't for you if you keep passing out like that, but he loved to play basketball."

Now his parents face with their worst nightmare-- burying their son.  But the family lost their insurance coverage a few months ago, and don't know how they'll find the money to pay for it.

Chanty'e said, "This will be hard for them to handle, so I thought in some kind of way, someone would help."

"We just need help with burial, any kind of help to bury my son... my 14-year-old son, " said his mother Tammy.

If you would like to help the Conner family, they badly need donations to help pay for burial costs.  You can call them at 334-593-1654 or 334-322-0413.  You can also email then at Tammy2David@yahoo.com

They also are asking for lots of prayers.

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