The Bravo star partied with girlfriend Leah Shafer and several of her close friends over the weekend

By Claudia Harmata
February 25, 2020 01:41 PM
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Sandy Yawn celebrated her 55th birthday in style!

The Below Deck captain’s festivities took place aboard the Sunreef Yachts‘ luxurious Sunreef 80’ Endless Horizon at the Miami International Boat Show, followed by a party at The Deck at Island Gardens in Miami, Florida, over the weekend.

She rang in her birthday surrounded by her closest friends and girlfriend, singer Leah Shafer — as well as a special guests including Lizzz Kritzer of Kritzer Marketing, who appeared on season three of the show as a high-profile charter guest.

Credit: Sebastian Bednarski
Credit: Sebastian Bednarski

It was a late night, as partygoers dined on fruit platters, prosciutto pizza, fried calamari and eggplant parmigiana, a representative for The Deck at Island Gardens tells PEOPLE.

Guests toasted the Bravo star with Whispering Angel Rosé and Pinot Grigio while singing “Happy Birthday” and surprising her with a pistachio birthday cake.

“Everyone sat in a bayside cabana overlooking the mega yachts in the Island Garden Marina,” the rep says. “Sandy was telling her friends that even though she lives in Denver, Florida will always be her home.”

Sunreef 80’ Endless Horizon
| Credit: Sunreef Yachts
Sunreef 80’ Endless Horizon
| Credit: Sunreef Yachts

Days before celebrating her birthday, the Below Deck Mediterranean star opened up to PeopleTV‘s Reality Check about unexpectedly suffering from a heart attack a couple of years ago.

Yawn was working out in a SoulCycle class when she began to notice the subtle symptoms and decided to take herself to the hospital.

“I remember thinking I was going to clip off the bike so I don’t fall, I didn’t want to disrupt the class, and I certainly wasn’t going to call 911 in the middle of Beverly Hills,” she said. “So I decided to call an Uber, and then I called my sister — and I survived.”

Sandy Yawn (R) and girlfriend Leah Shafer
| Credit: Sebastian Bednarski

Recalling what she’d heard from experts about warning signs that may indicate a cardiac episode for women (which, she noted, can be different from what men experience), Yawn said she felt “odd.”

“I could not swallow,” she said, “… I was watching my heart rate on my watch and it didn’t go down, and I started to feel lightheaded. I didn’t have any numbness, then when I got off my bike and walked outside, I started to feel the tingle in my left arm, exactly how described.”

Her health scare was brought on from never being diagnosed with high blood pressure, a condition that went “unchecked” and led to SCAD, or spontaneous coronary artery dissection, a tear in the heart’s blood vessels, Yawn said.

“A lot’s affected when you have a heart attack,” says Yawn. “My career is solid, I passed a physical — in fact, I have a heart of a 20-year-old; I don’t drink, I don’t do drugs, it had nothing to do with that. It was high blood pressure that was unchecked, and also I’m sure my diet probably had a lot to do with it.”

In August, Yawn also announced that her girlfriend has breast cancer, sharing that she and Shafer “remain extremely positive for the future.”

“Together we are stronger, especially with all your good thoughts coming our way,” Yawn told fans on Twitter.