SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – At eight-years-old, Karla Vatca seems like any typical girl eager to get out and play and list off the names of her favorite toys.
“My daddy likes this one because it’s an owl and his name is Chubby,” Karla said.READ MORE: 'You're Scaring Kids': Crowd Combats Anti-Pride Protesters At Children's Museum By Singing
But five months ago, Karla almost died.
“The principal was crying and she said the ambulance was leaving but Karla doesn’t have a heartbeat,” said Karla’s mother Angela Vatca.
At seven, Karla collapsed from sudden cardiac arrest while on the playground at Antelope Elementary School.
“She was gone for at least 25 minutes,” said Vlad Vatca, Karla’s Father.
After two teachers performed CPR, a defibrillator was used to shock Karla’s heart.READ MORE: Rivers See Crowds With Triple-Digit Heat, Also Rescue Calls
“Karla, although she didn’t know it, had an underlying condition – has an underlying condition – called Long QT syndrome. And that is an electrical problem with the heart that puts kids, and adults for that matter, at risk for sudden cardiac arrest,” said Dr. Stuart Berger with the UC Davis Children’s Hospital.
Karla’s parents say there is no question the fast action of those teachers saved their daughter’s life. They’re now pushing not only for greater awareness, but mandatory CPR training at all California schools.
“If possible, have defibrillators in all schools,” Vlad Vatca said. “We are living here, and I consider California the most advanced in the U.S. and we don’t have it.”
While Karla now has an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in place, her prognosis – and future – is bright.
“At this point in time, her prognosis is excellent because she’s on medications and she has an ICD, so she’s going to do very well,” Dr. Berger said.MORE NEWS: Dispute At Knights Ferry Recreation Area Turns Violent, Vehicle Hits 4 People
Karla spent three weeks recovering and did not suffer any brain damage from the incident. She’s now in the third grade and is doing well.