TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Wesley Stevens has been a Tampa firefighter and paramedic for 10 years.
On his days off, he used to spend his time practicing one of his favorite hobbies: fractal burning. It's a process that uses electricity to create images on wood.
But little did he know that his hobby would actually kill him. On December 6, an accident in his garage caused over 2,000 volts of electricity to course through Stevens' body.
"I'm not really sure what went wrong, but I ended up getting shocked," he said.
For 17 minutes, Stevens was lifeless and without a pulse.
"Dead is no pulse, not breathing, and he was there," said Lt. Ryan Anusbigian with the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. "Without intervention, he was not going to survive whatsoever."
HCFR refused to give up. They performed CPR and shocked Stevens' lifeless body until a faint heartbeat could finally be heard.
"Everything worked perfectly," Anusbigian recalled. "It could not have gone better for him."
Two days later, Stevens woke up in the hospital with no recollection of his brush with death.
However, the biggest miracle was still to come. His son Morgan was born just two days later in the same hospital where he was recovering.
"We had our son born on the 9th, so that was a big reason I was fighting to come back," Stevens said.
This week, Stevens thanked his fellow first responders for giving him a second chance at life -- and the opportunity to be a father.
He gave each of them a wooden flag that he created with gratitude and love.
"I'm lucky and blessed to be here still," Stevens said.
Miraculously, scars are all that remains from his brush with death. They now serve as a constant reminder of how lucky Stevens is to be alive.
Stevens returned to work as a Tampa firefighter just this past week. He said that, while he will continue to practice his woodworking, he has given up working with electricity.