Young girl meets with care team that saved her life exactly two years ago

- Ten-year-old Sofia Montoya doesn't remember the first time she met Shara Griffis. But Griffis, a nurse with Stanford Life Flight, remembers the first time she saw the elementary school student from the Half Moon Bay area.

"She was not breathing well, she was pale, she didn't look good," said Griffis. "Our assessment of her was she was critically ill.”

On April 18, 2016, Sofia's heart stopped while the then 8-year-old was playing on the school playground.

"She was laying on the playground not moving. A firefighter came over and said, 'The good news is she has a pulse now,’" said mother Shawna Montoya. "Some people didn't ever expect her to wake up."

Sofia had an unknown heart condition that causes her heart to beat erratically. She was in a coma for 5 days.

On Wednesday, exactly 2 years after Sofia's cardiac arrest, she and 11 members of her care team shared heartfelt hugs during a reunion at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto.

The 5th grader calls them "heroes" and don't ask her to pick a favorite.

"I can't choose because all of them were a part of bringing me back to 100 percent Sofia and what I am today," said Sofia Montoya.

Sofia is now 10 years old, almost fully-recovered and CPR certified.

"If she hadn't had immediate bystander CPR that was effective, we probably wouldn't be standing here right now," said Griffis.

The former patient is now learning geometry and gymnastics and some first responders consider that a miracle.

"It's a miracle to see a little kid have an outcome like that. A full cardiac arrest and now has this as an outcome. It's just a miracle," said Griffis.

According to the latest figures, only one in 10 people survive a cardiac arrest outside the hospital which is why Sofia and her family now advocate for anyone including kids and adults to get trained in CPR.
 

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