A Waukesha family hopes to raise awareness for electrocardiogram (EKG) screenings, a mass screening event Tuesday the largest ever in Wisconsin.

The Lermer family lost their son, Kai, to an undiagnosed heart condition in 2019. He was a three-sport athlete who suddenly died due to cardiac arrest.

“Young hearts change every two years,” said Patty Lermer, Kai’s mom.

An EKG test takes just a few seconds, but could save a life.

“A lot of families don’t know that a standard physical only captures about 10% of undiagnosed heart conditions, where an EKG can diagnose up to 86%,” said Mike Lermer, Kai’s dad.

5P KAI 11 BILL PKG WITI0d4a 186 mp4 - Waukesha student EKG screenings; Lermer family continues push

Kai Lermer

The Lermer’s hope to prevent someone else from dealing with the same heartbreak. By putting on the Save-A-Heart Mission, the third annual event Tuesday made EKG screenings available to anyone ages 13-21.

“Kai is ecstatic right now. I know he’s so proud and happy,” Patty Lermer said.

Five hundred students registered for Tuesday’s screenings. It comes after the Kai 11 bill was signed into law earlier this year. The legislation requires high schools and sports programs to provide information on the risk of sudden cardiac arrest and gives parents the chance to get an EKG test done.

“It proves that the legislation has helped educate parents, the consent form is out there and parents are taking notice,” Mike Lermer said.

The Kai Lermer Memorial Fund is also going to provide EKG testing at all high schools in Waukesha this fall.