Family Speaks Out After 11-Year-Old Daughter Dies From Congenital Heart Defect

| by Sean Kelly

A family in Florida spoke out following the death of their 11-year-old daughter, urging parents to get EKGs for their children.

Miami, Florida, resident Claudia Vergara said she got a frantic call in December 2014 from Miami Dancity Studios — the dance studio where her daughter, Breanna, was taking a class — telling her to get to the studio immediately.

“I was calling her name and she wasn't reacting,” Breanna’s teacher, Yvonne Alvarez, told Local 10 News. “I grabbed her, and as soon as I grabbed her she fell to the floor."

On Dec. 9, Breanna died of pre-excitation Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The syndrome, a congenital heart defect, is curable when detected with an EKG and deaths are rare. Vergara said her daughter’s defect didn’t go away as she got older as is known to happen.

Now, she and her husband are advocating for awareness and urging parents to get EKGs for their kids.

“An EKG or ECG is an electrocardiogram. It is a painless test that checks the electrical activity of your heart and can detect problems,” Vergara wrote on The Breanna Vergara Foundation Facebook page.

Since Breanna’s death, Miami Dancity Studios has made EKGs and physicals a requirement for its dancers. 

“I'm hoping that this saves many more lives,” Breanna’s father, Jesus, told Local 10 News.

Sources: Local 10, The Breanna Vergara Foundation/Facebook

Photo Credit: The Breanna Vergara Foundation via Local 10