Seaham's John Schiemer shouldn't really be here.
Several doctors told his family it was unbelievable that he doesn't have brain damage.
At about 4.30am on the morning after Anzac Day, the 19-year-old went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing.
His parents, Jenny and Heath Schiemer, worked together to perform CPR on their son.
NSW Ambulance officers Kelly Stone and Tammie Krishnan arrived and took over resuscitation efforts.
They gave him six to eight shocks from a defibrillator.
After a 25-minute brush with death [no oxygen went to vital organs in this time], he showed a sign of life.
"I looked at Tammy and said, 'I think we've got a pulse'," Ms Stone said.
She said it was an "absolute miracle" that Mr Schiemer survived.
Ms Krishnan said "he was very lucky".
"We could only do what we did because the mum and dad did such good CPR and kept their wits about them. They were on the ball."
Ms Krishnan said he was also lucky because "his dad just happened to be awake and heard him groaning".
John Schiemer was reunited with the two ambulance officers on Friday.
It was a joyful, emotional meeting.
"I'm grateful and thankful for my parents and the ambulance ladies that saved me," he said.
The apprentice concreter said the experience "doesn't really feel real".
He said life had "gone back to normal, which is a relief".
His mum Jenny Schiemer said it was incredible that he survived and was "not a vegetable".
"When we first heard him moaning, I thought he just didn't want to get out of bed to go to work," she said.
"We rolled him over, his eyes were rolled back in his head and his tongue was out, white and swollen. He was unresponsive. His colour was shocking - he was turning that purply-blue."
After the drama of resuscitation, he was rushed to John Hunter Hospital.
One of the first things doctors did was scan his brain.
"They didn't know why he went into cardiac arrest at his age and the fit state he was in," Mrs Schiemer said.
"They put him in an induced coma to rest his brain. They were concerned about brain damage."
Doctors initially put six bags of ice on him and, later, a cooling suit to keep his body temperature low to preserve brain function.
They soon discovered his cardiac arrest was caused by Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, which meant he had a second electrical pathway to his heart.
He spent 13 days in hospital, during which he had surgery to correct the problem.