The year 2020 changed Naima Dellawar’s life. In January, Naima was at track practice at Cerritos High School when she suffered a cardiac arrest. Then she had two more while on the way to hospital. Naima was medically dead for 45 minutes. Miraculously, she awoke without any brain damage. In the months following, Naima had heart surgery and began her recovery process at home after the COVID-19 pandemic locked down schools. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after suffering her trauma.
With the support of her teachers and her counselor, Rocio Gomez, Naima has overcome these challenges to maintain a 4.0 GPA and participate in four clubs and her school’s Model United Nations program. She also created a Cardiac Arrest Awareness Instagram page to connect with other young survivors of cardiac arrest.