Adrian Chance knows firsthand how important it is to take control of one’s own health journey. Inspired by his personal experiences of living with a life-threatening heart disorder and by a deep motivation to help others, Adrian works as a BeWell Advocate and aids others on their own journey to become their best.

A sudden, unexpected health scare

Adrian has led a healthy life. He is an active father to three sons and he holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion as well as certifications as a Personal Trainer and Health and Wellness Coach.

But one day back in September 2012, his heart stopped suddenly during his sleep. Luckily, his wife found him and performed life-saving CPR. He was rushed to the UVA Emergency Department and then hospitalized.

About a month later, it happened again: his heart stopped in the middle of the night. Once again, his wife performed CPR until help arrived and he was hospitalized a second time.

A rare heart disorder diagnosis

Adrian was eventually diagnosed with Brugada Syndrome, a dangerous and rare heart disorder that can trigger sudden cardiac arrest. The condition is genetic and so the diagnosis prompted Adrian to encourage his family to be checked for this rate genetic heart disease.

A 2014 UVA Healthy Balance blog post, “Brugada Syndome: A Dangerous Family Trait” featured Adrian’s diagnosis story.

At the beginning of this journey, he experienced a lack of trust in his body, but he now feels pretty much normal. Today, Adrian manages his condition with medication and a defibrillator device implanted next to his heart. His diagnosis and treatment journey has not always been smooth, but now, he says he does not experience fatigue and continues to be cautiously active.

Paying it forward as a BeWell Advocate

As a husband of over 20 years and a father of three, Adrian’s life experiences have taught him to embrace each moment with gratitude, counting every second as a precious gift from Jesus. The medical miracle he experienced motivates him to not take time for granted and to make the most of every opportunity to positively impact both his personal life and those at work.

Encouraging others inspires Adrian in his day-to-day work as a BeWell Advocate supporting both UVA and University Physicians Group (UPG) employees. He believes that one line of encouragement can change the trajectory of a person’s day and hopes to provide that support.

“The service I do is a natural flow from my heart for integrity, faith, coaching, and helping others,” says Adrian. “During my health crisis, assistance from others and medical intervention made a huge difference. I find it fulfilling to be able to do the same for others and to make an impact.”

A message of self-empowerment

Certainly, we can all learn from Adrian’s experiences.

“I encourage everyone to partner with their doctors and the wonderful support system within their health community,” advises Adrian. “Staying self-empowered within your own health journey is very important. Learning to be an advocate for yourself, just as much as the medical community advocates on their behalf, is critical.”

Start by taking control of your heart health. Learn about heart wellness and learn CPR to prepare to help others in crisis.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger or needs immediate medical care, call 911 for emergency services.