West Hills Hospital
January 22, 2020

Cardiac arrest survivor with team who saved her.

22-year-old cardiac arrest survivor reunites with hospital team that saved her life

Breanna Shearin visits West Hills Hospital to celebrate her remarkable recovery.


— At just 22 years old, Breanna Shearin was full of life and hope, with a bright future ahead of her. But one day, all of that nearly changed. What started as a normal Saturday took a turn for the worse when Shearin fainted unexpectedly after walking her dog. Her sister immediately called 911, and Shearin was rushed in an ambulance to West Hills Hospital, where doctors soon discovered she had life-threatening pulmonary emboli. Her condition quickly escalated into full-blown cardiac arrest.

After 90 tense minutes of CPR, the West Hills Hospital team was able to stabilize her, saving her young life. She was then transferred to UCLA Medical Center, where she underwent surgery to remove the pulmonary emboli. Dr. Rafii, who oversaw her care at West Hills Hospital, continued to check in on her throughout her recovery.

Shearin, a college student who works part-time at a homeless shelter, is now fully recovered and back to walking her dog. On Jan. 14, 2020, Shearin and her family returned to West Hills Hospital to share their gratitude with the doctors, nurses and paramedics who cared for her.

“I entered cardiac arrest three times … never during that time did Dr. Rafii and his team give up on me,” Shearin said. “I wholeheartedly believe that my quick progress and rapid healing is a direct result of the aggressive and lifesaving efforts of Dr. Rafii at West Hills Hospital. If he hadn’t suggested I stay overnight for observation, continued to do CPR and pushed me with epinephrine, I would not be here today. He calls me his miracle, but he saved my life, so he is the real miracle.”

From the moment the ambulance arrived to the moment Shearin was released from the hospital, her care took a team effort. It is because of the collaborative efforts and fast response of the teams at West Hills Hospital and UCLA Medical Center that she is alive to share her story.