CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) -- A South Jersey native has been reunited, years later, with someone who saved his life. It all started at the dentist when a now 25-year-old realized that he had a life-threatening condition.
It's Alex Kasprowitz's first trip back to Cherry Hill since taking a job in Seattle. He came home for his sister's high school graduation and to pay a visit to, of all places, the dentist.
"This will be the first time I'll be seeing them again since I've had the surgery," Kasprowitz said. Last year, the 25-year-old was equipped with a pacemaker and a defibrillator to combat a potentially life threatening heart condition.
"It's called Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy," Kasprowitz explained. It had gone undiagnosed until staff at Cherry Hill Dental Excellence noticed something unusual. Kasprowitz and his family returned to say thank you.
It is not a standard for a dental office, but this one takes every patients' blood pressure and pulse.
"It's something that must be done, because patients are more frequently seen by dentists than doctors," said Dr. Zahra Afsharzand.
When Kasprowitz's heart rate came in at 35, staff urged immediate medical attention. Kasprowitz and his family hope that more dentist offices will consider checking for more than just cavities.
"If she hadn't done that who knows? We don't know so, we're just very thankful and blessed that we have our Alex," his mother said.
Kasprowitz says that everyone he tells the story to says they wish their dentist did the same check.
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