Support from the community is pouring in for the family of a 10-year-boy who died while playing a Little League baseball game.
Lazar LaPenna died on Long Island in Long Beach on Friday, April 29, during a Long Beach/Lido Little League baseball game, school district and league officials said.
The diehard Mets fan had hit a single during the first game of the season and run to first base with a grin on his face, when he collapsed from an epileptic seizure, reported the Long Island Herald.
His older brother, Jerry, was coaching at first base when Lazar collapsed as the crowd was cheering along with his coach father Gregg LaPenna, reported the LI Herald.
An ambulance was called, but the child died a short time later, the LI Herald added.
Gregg LaPenna told the LI Herald his son was diagnosed with epilepsy at a young age, but it never stopped him from playing.
Lazar’s shattered father posted to the True Mets Fans Facebook group shortly after his son's death, according to the LI Herald.
“I’m holding the scorebook as he looks at me with the biggest smile,” Gregg LaPenna said on the True Mets Fans Facebook group, the LI Herald said. “I look down at the book to mark his single. That’s when my family’s life changed.
“Lazar collapsed and went into a seizure. Little did we know it would be the last," he added.
A student at East School in Long Beach, Lazar's family was well-known in both school and Little League circles for their volunteer work and involvement with the community, according to the school and Little League officials.
Hundreds of online condolences have poured in and flowers and baseball caps line the fence at the field where he played his last game.
Long Beach/Lido Little League officials said the remainder of their season will be dedicated to the LaPenna family and will be played in honor of Lazar.
"Our deepest sympathies go out to mother Monique, father, and coach Gregg, brothers Gerry and Blaze, and the entire LaPenna family," the league said.
To help classmates and those close to the family, crisis intervention officials will be available, said Long Beach school superintendent Jennifer Gallagher in a posting on the district's Facebook page.
Counselors will be available at all Long Beach district schools this week for any student who may need or want help or any type of assistance surrounding this loss, Gallagher said.
"Please continue to keep the LaPenna family, especially Lazar’s parents and siblings, in our thoughts and prayers," she added.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
This continues to be a developing story. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
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