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Share Your Story: Shannon Chamizo

by Grace H. on Monday, August 5, 2013

Shannon Chamizo, Hawaii


My name is Shannon Chamizo. I’m a 39-year-old, single mom to two teenaged boys. On Feb. 26, 2010 I suffered a heart attack and cardiac arrest in our apartment, witnessed by my sons who at the time were ages 16 and 12. I complained I was extremely tired and decided to nap on a couch near them where they were playing video games. From their testimony, I started breathing funny, stood up and passed out. I was unresponsive, foaming at the mouth, eyes rolled back and turning purple. My eldest son, Alston, called 9-1-1 and followed the EMS dispatcher’s instructions to perform CPR on me while my youngest son, Avery, went outside to direct first responders to us. I was taken to a nearby hospital at which time I received surgery to open the blockage in my heart with a stent. I remained in a coma for several days. I suffered some neurological damage resulting mainly in memory loss. My children and I were very traumatized by this event which could have easily resulted in my death, but by the grace of God, my sons were able to remain calm & respond with efficiency. Not just once but twice.

On April 10 of this year I suffered a second heart attack. While getting ready for bed I started experiencing chest pain which spread up my neck into my jaw, and felt nauseous. I lay in bed gripping my chest softly calling for my boys. Alston (now 19) heard me and started to assist by asking if I took my aspirin & nitroglycerine spray. He quickly sprayed the nitroglycerine, started assessing the situation and ordered Avery (now 15) to call 9-1-1. Avery had recently learned CPR in high school thanks to the American Heart Association’s current policy efforts to mandate that training in all high schools. Avery spoke with the 9-1-1 dispatcher while Alston cared for me until first responders were able to take over. Alston rode in the ambulance to the hospital with me. At the hospital I received another stent. Because of my sons I'm here to share our story and to share in many new memories.

I am very appreciative of the American Heart Association’s work to improve patients’ quality of care and heart attack systems of care. I also strongly support its policy efforts to insure that all sons and daughters graduate from high school with CPR training so that they might be prepared to save their loved ones. As a You’re The Cure advocate, I hope that our story will make a difference in convincing Hawaii’s policy makers to insure that is achieved.


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Comments (3)

  • ps-- I was only 50 when this happened -in perfect health !

    — Jane P.

  • Shannon

    Prior to my story, you should know, on May 20th 2012  I received a prophetic word from Bishop Greg Davis, I was told I would receive a miracle in exactly 90 days and my life would change drastically.

    So glad to hear your story, I, like yourself, went in to complete cardiac arrest five time''s on Aug 20, 2012 at the Diamondbacks Baseball Stadium.  I work at the stadium part time, I had just completed my daily 1 mile walk around the ball park.  I reported directly to my preshift meeting located just outside the umpire''s locker room.  We were just about to begin our meeting when I turned to my friend, I told her I was not feeling well and all of a sudden my muscle''s contracted, my co-workers layed me out on the floor.  I heard my best friend Danielle yelling for anyone who knew CPR, (its true, the last sense is hearing when you are dying) at that point, the Umpire''s were reporting in for the game, Umpire Jim Joyce heard Danielle screaming for help, he immediately dropped everything and began administering CPR for quite some time.  Each time I came back, I would go out again.  Diamondbacks were playing the Florida Marlins on that day, Jeff Urgelles from the Marlins coaching staff came out of the club house to assist Jim. (Jeff is EMT)   As I was told, I am a living miracle and there is no doubt in my mind that I am, I saw the very bright light and my deceased father spoke to me, he said "You are going to be okay, just stay there" And so here I am, after being brought back 3 times''s by CPR and 2 times by the AED.  So Shannon, you can understand my passion, it is CPR training, I am currently working with American Heart Association to be an advocate of CPR training in schools here in Arizona, unfortantely it is only "optional" in schools as of today.  It is my hope that word "optional" will change to "mandatory" very soon.  It is such a shame politicians look at this subject as a "budget" issue rather than a "life saving" benefit.  I guess politicians will understand when a family member is saved by a simple technique...CPR !!!  All the best to you and pray that Arizona will be the 16th state that mandate''s CPR in our schools.  


    PS--- If you were counting the days-- May 20th to Aug 20th was 90 days !!!

    — Jane P.

  • Shannon, thank you for sharing your very real and heart touching story!! I am so blessed to know you and see how you have grown stronger and become the living testimony that Ke Akua wants you to be so that others may know of how powerful His love is,  and for your sons who stepped in to help you at a very critical moment of your life! To Alston and Avery, you both are truly heroes in aunty''s book and I am so blessed to know the both of you and your mom!! So amazing that you folks were able to stay calm and do what you taught from school because of the efforts of everyones voice and the AHA efforts to get it to our legislation and key law makers to have classes offered at schools! Love all of you, Shannon, Alston and Avery Chamizo!!  :-) :-) Lets help more families by sharing your inspirational story!! Much aloha and blessings always! Aunty Von

    — Voncile C.

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