Autopsy: HS football player died from genetic defect



HENRY COUNTY, Ga. - An autopsy showed that a local high school football player died of natural causes last month.

Fifteen-year-old Jason Holland’s stepmother, Kim Holland, spoke out on Tuesday about the birth defect that took her stepson’s life.

“This is like a nightmare. This is something that you see in a movie, or that you hear from other people,” Holland said.

Jason’s family visited Ola High School’s football practice on Tuesday to share the news with his team. They wanted to get official word out on Jason’s death in the hopes that misinformation and rumors would stop.

Jason died suddenly while studying at home.

“There have been a lot of rumors going on and I want to set them straight right now,” Holland said. “Jason had a heart attack due to narrowing of the arteries in the back of his heart.”

An independent doctor told Channel  2’s Eric Philips that Jason’s genetic birth defect would not have been detected by routine tests or exams, especially since there were not any symptoms.

Jason’s family said he was the picture of health.

“Our son did not take supplements. He didn’t take energy pills. He did not drink Monster drinks,” Holland said.

Holland also emphasized that Jason’s death was not football-related and the family has supported the school’s statements about that from the beginning.

The family has started a scholarship in Jason’s name and a run will be organized in his honor as well.