Healthy teen athlete dies suddenly

A seemingly healthy teen athlete from St. Albans collapsed and died at his home over the weekend.

Leland Brown II, 15, was playing basketball with friends at his St. Albans home on Saturday when he began having chest pains, said his father, who is also named Leland Brown.

“He came in and told his mother that his heart hurt,” Brown said. “He went to his bedroom and asked for ice. When she checked on him, he had collapsed.

“A neighbor initiated CPR. He was taken to Thomas Memorial Hospital. They could not revive him.”

He said his son had exhibited no previous health problems. As a freshman at St. Albans High School, he excelled in baseball. He also was excelling in football last fall until he broke his collar bone during a game against George Washington High School.

“He loved hunting and fishing and his friends,” Brown said. “He loved his friends.”

While the cause of death is believed to be sudden cardiac arrest, an autopsy will be done because of his age, Brown said.

“He was a healthy boy as far as we knew,” he said. “I have heard of this happening to young athletes. If there is a silver bullet, hopefully there will be a test to identify this.”

Leland Brown II is also survived by his mother, Mara Brown, and his sister, Marlee, 13, who will be in the eighth grade in the fall at Hayes Middle School.

A candlelight vigil was scheduled for 8 p.m. Memorial Day at Crawford Field in St. Albans.

Bartlett Chapman Funeral Home in St. Albans is in charge of arrangements. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday at St. Albans High School. The funeral service will be 11 a.m. Friday at Kings River Worship Center with Pastor Brad Harvey officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Leland’s name to the St. Albans High School Baseball Boosters or Football Boosters.

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