Patient Story

Dave Byrne’s Cardiac Arrest & Heart Recovery Story


My name is Dave Byrne and I live in Perkasie, PA, with my wife, Jillian. I was 38 years old when I survived the ‘widow-maker’ heart attack.

On the morning of April 22, 2021, I vomited shortly after arriving at work and decided to return home. I woke up my wife, Jillian, when I began experiencing chest and joint pain; I felt very weak but initially thought my symptoms might be due to intense indigestion. At 7:46 am, my heart stopped. Jillian heard me collapse in the shower and ran in to find me face down, my face and neck were beet red and turning purple. Jillian dialed 911 and the operator instructed her to perform CPR until police arrived.

Once police arrived, they took over CPR and started AED shocks until EMS arrived. They worked on me for a long time – about 25 minutes. Once I was stable enough to move, they transported me to Grandview Hospital in Sellersville, PA, where they immediately sedated and intubated me, and took me to the catheterization lab. My left anterior descending artery was 100% blocked by a blood clot. Dr. Shailendra Singh implanted the Impella® heart pump to allow my heart to rest before placing a stent in my LAD. The Impella was left in for a few days to allow my heart to recover while the pump did all the work. At the time of placement, my ejection fraction was around 10% and when the pump was removed it had recovered to about 35%. 

I was in the hospital for a total of 107 days, 64 of which were spent in the CICU at Lehigh Valley Health Network.  I suffered almost complete organ failure while in the ICU because oxygen-rich blood was not getting to vital organs during my cardiac arrest but have since made a remarkable recovery. I completed cardiac rehabilitation without any issues and continue to go to the gym twice a week!

My wife and I are very grateful for Impella and the incredible medical care I received.

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