11-year-old diagnosed with rare heart condition after collapsing while playing basketball

Updated: November 22, 2019 06:24 PM

An 11-year-old student at Lakeview Public Schools collapsed while playing basketball. A week later, doctors say he'll like need a heart transplant.

Landyn Berends was shooting hoops while waiting for class to start on Nov. 15. He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS he started to see stars and then passed out. After he collapsed, staff — including the school's receptionist, who is medically trained — began CPR.


Landyn's mother, Jenni, was taking care of his twin brothers when his school called.

"I was dropping the twins off at day care and got a call from the school saying Landyn collapsed and is being transported by an ambulance to our hospital," Jenni said.

Eventually, Landyn made it to the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital.

"Landyn did a CT scan and it showed he had an enlargement of his heart," Jenni Berends said.

Doctors diagnosed him with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – a rare heart condition in which the heart's muscle becomes abnormally large. That makes it hard for blood to flow. According to Mayo Clinic, it often goes undiagnosed and can be treated, but not cured.

Jenni told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS doctors said he may need a heart transplant soon.

"It wasn't long ago we were sitting in the deer stand together," Dustin Berends, Landyn's father, said. "Just for parents out there – hug your kids every night before you go to bed," he added, sitting next to Landyn.

Despite a very hard week for the family, they were in great hands at Masonic. They also got a special visit from head coach of the Golden Gophers football team, P.J. Fleck, something the family said they needed.

"[P.J.'s] got a very big, positive energy around him," Jenni said with a smile.

Landyn, being a big Gophers fan, was very excited yet also bummed that he missed the previous day's guests at the hospital, the Minnesota Vikings. To help — thanks to Fleck's Rolodex — a FaceTime call was made to Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph.

If you'd like to help the family, a GoFundMe has been set up for donations.

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Ben Henry

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