PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)-- A Valley man credited a high-tech garment with saving his life after he suffered a sudden cardiac arrest twice in less than a week.

In early Aug., Gary Devol, 70, said he woke up in the middle of the night on the floor.

[VIDEO: Cardiac vest saved Phoenix man's life twice]

“I thought I fell asleep and just fell on the floor,” he said. “I knew what had happened at that point, but the macho guy thing comes into play at that point. I thought ‘Oh, I don’t need that thing. I didn’t want to wear the thing to start with.”

Devol said it was the first time he had a sudden cardiac arrest. Two days later the same thing happened while he and 40,000 attendees were at a church conference at Chase Field.

“I went down the stairs, didn’t even get sat down,” said Devol.” I walked down a few stairs and I felt myself just collapsing.”

Both times, a lifesaving shock went through his body. It was the Zoll Life Vest doctors prescribed to him weeks before. Admittedly, Devol said he didn’t always wear it like he was directed to.

“I just didn’t see it,” he said. “I didn’t see what was happening. Six weeks went by and nothing happened, then I was convinced I was right and he was wrong. “

Dr. Mayur Bhatka, an Interventional Cardiologist with Honor Health, said the vest is a vital part of treatment for patients with heart conditions.

“It’s a temporary guardian angel to these patients while their heart is recovering and the medications that start them on is the assistance we give,” said Bhatka.

He said many symptoms of heart problems mimic everyday illnesses. When in doubt, Bhatka said to check it out.

If you have any symptoms or any concerns that your heart is affect my any kind of ailment please get seen as soon as you can.


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