One year after teen suffers cardiac arrest - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

One year after teen suffers cardiac arrest

September 1 marked one year since 13-year-old Zach Villareal suffered cardiac arrest during baseball practice. He has a heart condition called Prolong QT, which his family never knew he had.

Doctors said he was lucky to be alive, and didn't give the family much hope. Doctors said he would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life, without being able to eat, move, or talk.

Villareal's father, Tony Villareal said, "After that day we were told basically he shouldn't have survived, he flat-lined twice.

A year later, his family says he is beating the odds. They celebrated his improvements over the past year with a video at The Grand Church in Kinder and revisiting the baseball field where it all happened. Friends, family, his old coach, along with the emergency responders were present.

His mother Rae Villareal said of his improvements, "Before there was no facial features. Now he'll give me a look like he used to give me before this happened, and those are moments that I just step back and say, my goodness, I have my son.

His family said he can now talk, move, and eat small amounts of food.


Rae Villareal said, "Were just celebrating that he is laughing and giggling and having a good time, he has a sense of humor he enjoys life and that's the important part is he is still enjoying life."

The family urges other to take the EKG test and on September 6 are holding a testing at the Allen Parish Civic Center in Oberlin. The test costs $15, but the Villareals said they have donors if the cost deters anyone away.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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