In Mercer County Saturday night, it was a chance to raise awareness for heart disease and stroke. 

The American Heart Association hosted its annual Heart Ball at the Avalon at Buhl Park in Hermitage.

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for Americans and is preventable.

Three local survivors shared their life-changing stories and were honored.

21 News spoke with one of those survivors on his miraculous surgery after his family was told he had about a 25 percent chance to live after suffering a heart attack.

"I needed to be paddled because my heart did stop, and after my quadruple bypass surgery, I was on life support for ten days. I had liver failure, I had kidney failure, and they weren't giving me much of a chance to come out of it," said John Sarandrea, the former superintendent of Sharon City Schools.

Sarandrea thanked the team at Sharon Regional Hospital who saved his life.

Organizers said there are common signs for heart disease and stroke, including chest pain and arm pain, but there can be other indicators like jaw pain or nausea that might go unnoticed.

"Through events like the Heart Ball, the American Heart Association is funding local and national research, along with education programs, to reduce the ravages of cardiovascular disease," said Shane Nugent, the 2020 Mercer/Lawrence heart Ball Chair and VP of the Nugent Group. " I ask everyone in the community to support this vital initiative so that our loved ones will live longer and healthier lives."

21 News Anchor Caroline Collins was the emcee for the event for the second year in a row. 

This year's theme was Roaring 20s with a leap year flare.