Bay Area

East Bay mother opens up about sudden death of 16-year-old son

OAKLAND (KRON) - An East Bay mother is opening up about the sudden death of her 16-year-old son.

Jeremiah Joyner passed away a week ago. He was a varsity football player at Oakland Technical High School.

Only on KRON4 on Friday night, Philippe Djegal spoke with his mom who says a pre-existing condition may have led to her son's passing.

"It's like a rollercoaster," mother Cherie Jones said. "Really, just a lot of ups and downs."

Jones says though a week has gone by since her son passed away, the shock and sadness is still fresh.

And she doesn't expect that to change for quite some time.

"He complained of chest pain once, but he was being active," Jones said.

Her 16-year-old son Jeremiah Joyner was an outside linebacker on the varsity football team at Oakland Technical High School.

But the football season has been over for a few months now.

Cherie says when she got home Thursday night, she woke her son up from a nap.

He complained of head, stomach, and chest pains.

And moments later, he threw up and then collapsed.

"My brother, he came down, and I ran to the fire station to see if I could get some help, and I understand my brother gave him CPR," Jones said.

Cherie says paramedics got Jeremiah's heart beating again before he was rushed to Highland Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

"When my brother received a call from the coroner, they said there was an abnormality in his heart," Jones said. "I guess an artery was on the left side versus the right side, and it didn't have, I guess, a curve in it. It was coming down, which I guess he wasn't getting the air supply that he needed."

Cherie believes her son may have been born with this condition and says she hopes others can learn from this story.

She says her son's heart problem was never detected during routine sports physicals or doctor's appointments.

She says parents should ask for more thorough testing.

"I'm not blaming nobody," Jones said. "I'm not blaming nobody. I just, you know, when you go in for a sports physical, they use a stethoscope and check your heart rate. They have you bend over, touch your toes, and check your reflexes. That has nothing to do with seeing if your heart is strong--if your lungs are strong."

The Alameda County Coroner's Bureau says it could take up to five more weeks before an official cause of death is determined.

GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/jeremiahjoyner

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