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Congenital Heart Defect Led to Runner's Death

January 24, 2002

Congenital Heart Defect Led to Runner's Death

Jason Kortekaas, a 17-year-old varsity cross-country runner at Victorville Silverado High who died Oct. 10 after being in a coma for 11 days following his collapse during a race at Yucaipa High, died of a congenital heart defect, the San Bernardino County coroner's office has concluded.

The report said "the most single abnormal finding from the autopsy is the enlarged heart. It weighed 425 grams and in the high-end scale of a boy his size, his heart should be no larger than 410."

The report said Kortekaas' condition probably caused an irregular heartbeat that led to a heart attack during the race, which was held in temperatures approaching 100 degrees. The heart attack led to a lack of oxygen reaching his brain.

John Ortega

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