LOS ANGELES — Bronny James has been discharged from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and is resting at home, three days after the 18-year-old son of LeBron James went into cardiac arrest.
Dr. Merije Chukumerije, a consulting cardiologist for Bronny James, said in a statement issued by the hospital Thursday that James was “successfully treated for a sudden cardiac arrest.” Chukumerije gave credit to “the swift and effective response by the USC athletics’ medical staff” after the incident Monday at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center, where the incoming freshman guard was participating in basketball practice.
“He arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center fully conscious, neurologically intact and stable,” Chukumerije said. “Mr. James was cared for promptly by highly-trained staff and has been discharged home, where he is resting. Although his workup will be ongoing, we are hopeful for his continued progress and are encouraged by his response, resilience, and his family and community support.”
Earlier Thursday, LeBron James said his family is “safe and healthy” in a message of thanks posted on social media. The words were the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s first public comments since Bronny James was hospitalized Monday morning.
“I want to thank the countless people sending my family love and prayers,” LeBron James wrote. “We feel you and I’m so grateful. Everyone doing great. We have our family together, safe and healthy, and we feel your love. Will have more to say when we’re ready but I wanted to tell everyone how much your support has meant to all of us!”
The top scorer in NBA history concluded his message with the hashtag “JamesGang,” his nickname for the tightknit family unit built around their three children by James and his wife, Savannah.
Bronny James spent only a brief time in intensive care, and he is healthy enough to be discharged only three days after the event. Both are positive signs for his long-term recovery, but he still is expected to undergo extensive testing to investigate the cause of his cardiac arrest, as is typical in this situation.
Bronny James has built a promising basketball career for himself in his father’s considerable shadow. The 6-foot-3 teenager became a top recruit as a two-way point guard for Sierra Canyon School in suburban Chatsworth.
He decided in May to attend USC, which is expected to have one of the most intriguing teams in the nation. The Trojans were holding summer practices in preparation for a 10-day tour in Europe next month.
With his family fame and huge social media following, Bronny James has the top name, image and likeness valuation in sports at $6.3 million, as estimated by On3.com.
Bronny James was the second high-profile USC basketball recruit to go into cardiac arrest in the last year. Vincent Iwuchuwku also was stricken during a workout last July, but the 7-foot-1 center returned to the court six months later, eventually appearing in 14 games for the Trojans as a freshman.
It’s too soon to know how Bronny James’ hoops career could be affected by this health setback. Dr. Sameer Amin, a cardiologist and the chief medical officer at L.A. Care Health Plan, told The Associated Press that the teenager’s move out of intensive care this week was encouraging.
“It’s a really positive sign that they didn’t sustain too much brain damage or any brain damage, or any major heart damage in the setting of their heart stopping,” said Amin, who is not treating Bronny James. “Usually we see that when somebody’s heart gets restarted very quickly after it stops. Also, in young people, you tend to get these bounce-backs a lot faster. It’s a really positive outcome that he’s already out of the ICU.”
Amin said it’s too soon to speculate on whether Bronny James can return to basketball, or how quickly it could happen.
“If (the cardiac event) is happening because of a unusual blow to the chest like in the Damar Hamlin case, oftentimes those people can have a positive outcome because it’s a rare and unusual event that led to the heart stopping,” Amin said. “In those where there’s an underlying genetic problem or an underlying electrical issue, it can be a little bit more tricky to get somebody back on the playing field.”