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6-year-old boy dies after suffering heart attack during baseball team photos

Brantley Chandler was born with a rare heart defect.
/ Source: TODAY

A 6-year-old boy from Chickamauga, Georgia, died last week of a heart attack after he collapsed while taking photos with his baseball team.

Brantley Chandler, who was born with a rare heart defect, passed away last Thursday.

Boy dies taking baseball pictures
Brantley Chandler shortly before he died.Courtesy of Megan Bryson

Mom Megan Bryson said he collapsed while preparing for a photo with his team, the Rock Spring Mustangs. He was taken by ambulance to a nearby children's hospital, where he could not be revived.

Bryson said Brantley had a rare heart ailment since birth called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, in which the left side of the heart doesn't fully develop. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates fewer than 1,000 babies in the United States are born with the defect each year.

Boy dies taking baseball pictures
Brantley Chandler was 6 when he died.Courtesy of Megan Bryson

Brantley underwent three open-heart surgeries by the time he was 2, but had no other serious health issues. Doctors had warned his mother, who is a licensed practice nurse, of the possibility of the defect causing a heart attack.

"There was no sign or symptom, which I was told was a major possibility — that it could be an instant heart attack," Bryson told NBC News. "I never told him or explained it to him. So, he never thought he was any different from the rest of the kids."

Boy dies taking baseball pictures
Brantley Chandler in his baseball uniform and with his mom.Courtesy of Megan Bryson

Brantley, who played catcher, wore a layer of protective padding under his shirt while on the field.

"When he was not playing baseball, Brantley could be found enjoying what the outdoors had to offer," his obituary said. "He loved Hunting, fishing, spending time with his hunting dog 'Boss', riding four wheelers, and playing in the mud getting his boots dirty!"

"I never made him live in a bubble; he was outdoors as much as possible, playing baseball and, anything he wanted to do, he was doing it," Bryson said. "He had a very good nearly seven years of quality life."

Brantley is survived by his mother, stepfather, father, stepmother, three half siblings and four grandparents.