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Boy collapses and dies during Long Island Little League game a day after celebrating his birthday


Boy, 10, collapses and dies during Long Island Little League game a day after celebrating his birthday as his father recalls watching his epilepsy-suffering son have ‘abnormal seizure’

  • Lazar LaPenna, a fourth-grader at East Elementary School in Long Beach died after he suddenly collapsed during his first game of the season
  • The boy, who had just celebrated his tenth birthday a day earlier, passed after experiencing an epileptic seizure, his father and coach Gregg LaPenna said
  • He had been diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago and was taking medication and was being treated for the condition, his father said 
  • LaPenna has been grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community following his son’s death
  • Families from across the country have memorialized Lazar by wearing his number nine jersey and families have left a bat outside their homes in remembrance

A Long Island community is mourning the death of a fourth-grader who died suddenly during a little league baseball game. 

Last Friday, Lazar LaPenna, a fourth-grader at East Elementary School in Long Beach died after he suddenly collapsed while making his way to first base after hitting a single in his first game of the season.

Lazar, who had just celebrated his tenth birthday a day earlier, passed after experiencing an epileptic seizure, his father and coach Gregg LaPenna told ABC7 News.

 Lazar (pictured) had been diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago and was taking medication and was being treated for the condition, his father said

Last Friday, Lazar LaPenna, (pictured) a fourth-grader at East Elementary School in Long Beach died when he suddenly collapsed during his first game of the season

Last Friday, Lazar LaPenna, (pictured) a fourth-grader at East Elementary School in Long Beach died when he suddenly collapsed during his first game of the season

Lazar, who had just celebrated his tenth birthday a day earlier, passed after experiencing an epileptic seizure, his father and coach Gregg LaPenna (pictured) said

Lazar, who had just celebrated his tenth birthday a day earlier, passed after experiencing an epileptic seizure, his father and coach Gregg LaPenna (pictured) said

Lazar had been diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago and was taking medication and was being treated for the condition, his father said.  

LaPenna said his game on Friday was like any other until things took a turn for the worst.  

‘The last moment I saw was him standing on first, and he turned to me with a smile,’ an emotional LaPenna said. ‘I looked at my scorebook to mark down the hit, and I heard his brother said, ‘Lazar’s having a seizure,’ and I look down, he’s laying down on first base. When I saw his face, I knew it wasn’t another normal seizure.’

LaPenna said emergency officials arrived to Point Lookout Park and performed CPR for a while but they were not able to revive him.

‘He was a such a gentle soul,’ his father said. ‘He never wanted to be alone. We’re going to keep him close to us.’

But LaPenna has been grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the community following his son’s death.  

‘The town has been so supportive, everybody,’ LaPenna said.

LaPenna said emergency officials arrived to Point Lookout Park and performed CPR for a while but they were not able to revive the ten-year-old

LaPenna said emergency officials arrived to Point Lookout Park and performed CPR for a while but they were not able to revive the ten-year-old

The community has shown support for the LaPenna family, leaving bats outside their homes in memory of Lazar

The community has shown support for the LaPenna family, leaving bats outside their homes in memory of Lazar

The New York Mets, Lazar's favorite team, paid tribute to the mega fan this week by leaving three bats outside of their clubhouse

The New York Mets, Lazar’s favorite team, paid tribute to the mega fan this week by leaving three bats outside of their clubhouse

Families from across the country have memorialized Lazar by wearing his number 9 jersey

Families from across the country have memorialized Lazar by wearing his number 9 jersey

Long Beach Public Schools said they would be providing councilors for students to talk to in the wake of the tragedy. 

‘It is with deep regret that we inform you about a tragedy in our school community. Yesterday, Lazar LaPenna, one of our fourth-grade students at East School, passed away suddenly at a baseball game. I know that the extended La Penna family is well-known in our community, and that many of you have likely already heard about this terrible loss,’ the district said in a statement.  

The New York Mets, Lazar’s favorite team, paid tribute to the mega fan this week by leaving  three bats outside of their clubhouse.

‘We send our love and support to his family and teammates in the Long Beach/Lido Little League,’ the team wrote in a post on Wednesday. 

Families from across the country have also memorialized Lazar by wearing his number 9 jersey, while members of little league baseball teams across the country have shown up to school wearing a baseball jersey in his honor and other families have left a bat outside their homes in remembrance. 

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