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Former Waco firefighter celebrates 12 years after suffering from heart attacks at only 38 years old

Posted at 9:31 AM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 10:52:25-05

WACO, TX — Shane Spann had two heart attacks within three weeks of each other at 38 years old.

"I always though that if you stayed in good shape," Spann said.

Heart attacks run in his family and although he tried to stay as healthy as he could the inevitable happened.

He learned he would need open heart surgery on Valentine's Day in 2008. He was worried he wouldn't be able to go back doing what he loved.

Spann was a firefighter. In his tenure, he was awarded the Medal of Valor and firefighter of the year for saving two kids in a flash flood stuck in a storm drain.

"God still had me back on a fire truck in 7 weeks," Spann said.

Knowing he couldn't be a firefighter forever, he retired a few years later and is protecting lives in a different way.

"I get to see the doctors and surgeons and nurses that worked on me all the time and we're friends actually," Spann said.

Patrolling the halls as a security guard for Ascension Providence, he enjoys being there for the ones that saved him.

"My wife was very glad that I was here if anything went wrong," Spann said.

Long time friend, and now co-worker, Mandy Sharp loves to have him on their team.

"He's always been there for anybody who needed anything he has a huge faith in god and obviously that has pulled him through," Sharp said.

Twelve years later, it's not in his heart to be a couch potato. He is living life each day with no regrets.

"I think that a lot of people live in fear of what could happen if they've had something bad," Spann said, "I don't do that - I go hiking running and doing what ever to the best of my ability."

If you are worried about your heart health, the heart foundation offers several tips to stay heart healthy.

They say you should:

  • Be smoke-free
  • Manage your blood cholesterol
  • Manage your blood pressure
  • Manage diabetes
  • Be physically active
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods with less salts and healthier fats
  • Look after your mental health