Teen whose heart stopped at Mesa water park thanks lifeguards who saved her

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“I’m so thankful for all of them,” Chloe Larson (left) said if the lifeguards who saved her. “Being here was a miracle.” Lifeguard Serenity Kosorok (right) was the first to realize Chloe was in trouble. (Source: 3TV) “I’m so thankful for all of them,” Chloe Larson (left) said if the lifeguards who saved her. “Being here was a miracle.” Lifeguard Serenity Kosorok (right) was the first to realize Chloe was in trouble. (Source: 3TV)
Chloe had just gone down The Cauldron, a fast-moving waterslide. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Chloe had just gone down The Cauldron, a fast-moving waterslide. The next thing she remembers is waking up in the hospital. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Kosorok sounded the alarm, bringing a team of lifeguards  to Chloe's rescue. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Kosorok sounded the alarm, bringing a team of lifeguards to Chloe's rescue. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A San Tan Valley teenager thanked the lifeguards and first responders who saved her life after her heart stopped while she was swimming at Golfland Sunsplash in Mesa.

It happened two weeks ago during 16-year-old Chloe Larson’s first trip to the popular water park near Southern Avenue and Mesa Drive.

She was there with a church group. Larson said the only thing she remembers after going down a water slide is waking up in the hospital.

“I was on The Cauldron, but coming out is just a blur,” she explained. “I don’t really remember.”

Serenity Kosorok, an 18-year-old lifeguard at the water park, does remember.

She saw Larson come out of the slide, which features a drop of more than four stories, and swim to the side of the pool. She was worried when Larson stopped moving and didn’t get out of the water.

“When she didn’t take the rescue tube, I was like, ‘K, something’s wrong,” Kosorok said.

She blew the whistle, to bring a team of lifeguards to Larson’s aid and had the water on the slide stopped.

The lifeguards put Larson on a backboard, got her out of the water and had started CPR before the Mesa Fire and Medical Department got there.

“I’m so thankful for all of them,” Larson said. “Being here was a miracle.”

Larson has a heart condition that requires her to use a pacemaker. Her doctors are not sure what caused her emergency, but they have replaced her device.

"They either think it's genetic or settings were wrong on the pacemaker,” she said.

Although the situation was scary for Larson, she said she has plans to go back to Golfland Sunsplash and hit The Cauldron again.


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Maria HechanovaMaria’s last name is pronounced HETCH-UH-NO-VAH. She joined the 3TV/CBS 5 News team in July 2017, but is no stranger to Arizona.

Click to learn more about Maria.

Maria Hechanova

Prior to moving to Phoenix, she spent four years in Tucson reporting for KOLD News 13 and KMSB FOX 11 covering wildfires, VA transportation issues, and Southern Arizona's largest school district.

Before that, she worked for WLNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Lansing, Michigan where she learned a lot about the auto industry and almost never took off her parka.

Maria also reported in Yuma where she had the incredible opportunity to fly with the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and cover countless military homecomings.

She got her start at KPHO in 2008 as a college intern and is happy to be back and working with professionals who helped shape her career.

Shortly after college, Maria landed an internship with the TODAY Show in New York City thanks to the help of the Asian American Journalists Association.

She graduated from Northern Arizona University where she was also a member of the women's swimming and diving team.

Maria grew up in the Valley and went to Ironwood High School in Glendale.

When not reporting the news, she’s hunting for the best carne asada tacos or bowl of pho, swimming laps, or hanging out with her USMC veteran husband and rescued Shih Tzu.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you also can find Maria at @MariaHechanovaTV on Instagram.

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