Keeping young hearts beating

Community By Alexandra Herrera, Reporter Thursday, March 31, 2022

     The Breanna Vergara Foundation, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the Town of Miami Lakes and the Optimist Club will offer free youth EKG screenings on Saturday, April 2 at the Optimist Park Clubhouse. 

     The foundation -- which encourages parents to get echocardiograms for their children in an effort to prevent sudden cardiac arrest -- was begun following the death of Breanna Vergara at age 11 in 2014. 

     Breanna was a dancer who had a rare and undetected heart condition that would have been noticed with an EKG test, the foundation says. 

     Its purposes are to help parents get EKGs for their children, provide defibrillators to youth organizations and to offer CPR training.  

     The screenings will be held at the park clubhouse, 6411 NW 162 St. in Miami Lakes.  The tests are free for kids younger than 18 and will begin at 9 a.m. Parents may register at 

     In February, the foundation presented to the town an automated external defibrillator, which is used to restore a heart’s rhythm. The device will be available at Optimist Park, where many youth sports teams play. 

     Shown above from left are Miami Lakes Councilman Joshua Dieguez; Mayor Manny Cid; Jesus Vergara, Breanna’s father and co-founder of the organization; Amanda Lorenzo, in charge of social media for the foundation and Nancy Rogers, chair of the Miami Lakes Public Safety Committee.  Photo courtesy of the town.