CARMEL, Ind. — A 5-year-old Carmel girl is grateful to be alive after going into sudden cardiac arrest last year. Now, her family has made it their mission to teach others about the importance of heart health, CPR and AED training.

Vera Uber was just 4 years old when she went into sudden cardiac arrest and collapsed in her home. Her dad had to perform CPR until first responders could arrive.

She was diagnosed with a rare heart arrhythmia syndrome and chances are her heart will someday stop beating again.

That’s why Vera’s family has made it their mission to share their daughter’s story and encourage others to refresh their CPR and AED skills.

“Every time we get to hug her, when you think about it, it’s a day we weren’t supposed to have,” said Matt Uber, Vera’s dad.

While Vera has a defibrillator implanted in her abdomen to provide lifesaving measures, if her heart does stop, a trained person nearby could save her life.

The Uber family has been working with the Carmel Fire Department to host training classes for the public.

“It makes sense that is our commitment for CPR and AED education that best honors our journey with her,” said Vera’s mom, Erin.

Exactly one year after Vera went into sudden cardiac arrest, more than 50 people gathered at a local church for a refresher course with the Carmel Fire Department. One of the firefighters teaching community members was firefighter Brent Schnepp – who responded to Vera’s emergency.

“We got to go to Vera’s preschool and teach a lot of the parents basic hands-on CPR and AED use,” Schnepp said.

The Uber family also held a session at Carmel High School, teaching over 6,000 students and staff the basic, live-saving skills and encouraging them to receive additional training so they know what to do in an emergency.

The Carmel Fire Department is planning to host a community event this Saturday at Midtown Plaza to provide an opportunity for the public to learn CPR and practice on dummies. They will also share a 10-minute video featuring Vera’s story on the big screen in Midtown Plaza during the event. To learn more, click here.

For more information on hands-only CPR or AED training, check the resources below: