Sofia’s Fight Song; Take Back Her Life Song

Almost always when I write, I do so as a reporter. But today, I’m going to write as member of a tight-knit family.

This is Sofia. She’s my cousin’s daughter. She almost died a week ago.

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Sofia sleeping in a hospital bed this week after the breathing tube had been removed.

On April 18, she was on the playground at school when her heart stopped. She didn’t fall or get injured. Her heart just refused to beat again.

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Here is Sofia hugging one of the flight crew that helped save her life.

A teacher did CPR until the paramedics arrived and could use a defibrillator. She had to be shocked twice.

Sofia was flown to Stanford by helicopter (her heart quit twice on the way.) She was eventually placed in a pediatric ICU and her chances of survival seemed slight. For days, she lay still and silent with tubes and wires poking into her. But, she fought her way back to her parents. The tubes and wires have come out. She has some memory loss and motor control issues though. She forgets that friends have come to visit. She has trouble walking.

The doctors have diagnosed her with Long QT syndrome, a genetic heart condition. In response the whole family has had EKG’s. Doctors discovered that Sofia’s little sister, Gabby, also has the same condition.

Sofia is still in the hospital and faces months of physical and speech therapy.

This week she was supposed to appear in her school talent show. She worked for months preparing. Here’s a partial video of her practicing about a month ago.

This is Sofia’s fight song.

Unfortunately, the talent show happened without her this last week. She is going to have to struggle to belt out her song again for next year but she’s already trying. She has begun practicing in the hospital.

Sofia’s dad, my cousin Daniel (DJ) and his wife Shawna Weaver Montoya both were raised in Humboldt. They both went to Pacific Union elementary school. (DJ also went to Weott and Redway Schools for 1st and 2nd grades.) Then they went to Arcata High School. DJ went to HSU while Shawna went out of state for college. They now live in the Bay Area. Their community there is rallying around to help with expenses and with meals. A friend has set up an account to raise money for the family. If you want to help Sofia belt out her fight song once again, you can donate here.

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