For Immediate Release
June 8, 2016
Contact: Carmen Stewart
Miami Lakes, FL - The Town of Miami Lakes recently designated N.W. 164 Street as Breanna Vergara Way to honor the 11 year old Town resident and avid dancer, who fell unexpectedly to sudden cardiac arrest during a dance class on December 9, 2014. The family later learned that Breanna passed from Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, a condition where an extra electrical connection exists between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, which can be easily detected with an EKG screening.
The family established a foundation in her name; the Breanna Vergara Foundation has worked tirelessly promoting their mission in creating awareness and encouraging the use of heart screenings in an effort to identify those at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death for youth athletes, with as many as 1 in 250 youth athletes having a heart disorder that may increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest. If detected, WPW is curable with a catheterization procedure.
The Town Council also recently passed the Sudden Cardiac Awareness Policy- “Breanna Saves Lives Act” encouraging parents to have their children tested before participating in any of the Town’s programs requiring physical exertion. The policy makes it a mandatory practice for the Town and its program providers to inform youth athletes/program participants, their families, and coaches of sudden cardiac arrest and the options available for prevention. Over 100 free EKG screenings were also provided at last year’s Family Health and Wellness Fair by Niklaus Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the Breanna Vergara Foundation.