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Chesapeake man shares near-death experience, meets first responders who saved him

Posted at 11:00 AM, Sep 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 20:21:53-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - For Shawn Piazza and his wife Jennifer, February 18, 2019, is the day that changed everything.

Shawn Piazza, his wife Jennifer and heroic first responders

The couple was in their kitchen cooking burgers for dinner when out of nowhere, Shawn collapsed. The 24-year-old was suffering from cardiac arrest.

Jennifer performed CPR while crews from the Chesapeake Fire Department responded. Firefighters said that her prompt action and immediate CPR contributed to Shawn's survival.

Shawn suffers from a heart condition called Brugada syndrome. According to the National Institute of Health, Brugada syndrome is a condition that causes a disruption of the heart's normal rhythm and can lead to irregular heartbeats.

Friends told News 3 that he had no idea he suffered from the condition until after his heart attack.

Related: The gift of life: How one hour changed a Norfolk biologist's life forever 

Wednesday afternoon, Shawn and Jennifer met the first responders who saved Shawn's life.

And given October is National Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month, Shawn and Jennifer said they wanted to share their story to increase the level of awareness of sudden cardiac arrest.

"Appreciate every second you can with your loved one."