SALEM – A 12-year-old Salem boy who survived a cardiac arrest while playing basketball in January has now died after another collapse.
Isaac Arzate collapsed during baseball practice Friday while jogging, and his basketball coach later confirmed that the sixth-grader died.
"He had suffered so much at a young age, more than most ever have to, and he had gotten better so quickly and so well. To have another blow is more than anyone wants to imagine," family friend Tiffany Beach told KGW Monday.
She said doctors still were not sure if Arzate's death was heart-related. Isaac had recently undergone a complete physical and stress test before starting the baseball season.
Background: Salem boy in critical condition after collapse
Arzate previously suffered a cardiac arrest in January, during basketball practice at Scott Elementary School, due to a heart condition he and his family did not know he had.
He underwent surgery at Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and less than a month later said in an interview with KGW that he felt like he was back to normal. Doernbecher released a statement Monday that said they were deeply saddened over Arzate's death and could not comment further on details regarding his care or whether he was cleared by the cardiac team to play sports.
Arzate attended Stephens Middle School. Principal Matt Biondi said eight counselors and a safe room have been made available Monday morning for students. He said a number of students have chosen to go to the safe room.
Students were creating cards, T-shirts and posters with his image to honor his memory, he said.
A fund for Arzate’s family was being set up at U.S. Bank.