After being a stubborn patient, Richard Shiver says he is grateful that his physician instructed him to wear a new piece of technology that later saved his life.
Because of a post-surgery knee infection, Shiver had to wear the LifeVest until it healed and a defibrillator could be implanted. His physician, Dr. Kamil Hanna, told him to wear the vest until then to prevent him from going into sudden cardiac arrest.
Shiver says the vest would occassionally aggitate him, so he took it off for hours at a time after work and while he was sleeping.
One evening, when he would typically have the vest off, Shiver became unconscious while working outside putting a padlock on a door. He says all he remembers is waking up, gasping for air and hearing the digital LifeVest saying "Treatment has been administered."
"I was fit to die. I mean, had I not had this vest on, I would not be here today, and that's what get's me. I did not believe that it shocked me," says Shiver.
Shiver says after this experience he kept the LifeVest on at all times except for the five minutes he was in the shower.
The LifeVest detects irregular heartbeats and gives a shock to the person wearing it through pads on the vest.
According to Hanna, a physician at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, 325,000 Americans die every year from sudden cardiac arrest.