Patient Story

Bob Kiefer's Journey to Heart Recovery: Surviving a Heart Attack While Surfing

My name is Bob Kiefer and I’m 75 years old. I am a retired special officer from San Juan Capistrano, CA. I always led an active lifestyle, surfing nearly every day. Following a surf one morning, I began experiencing heart attack symptoms. A friend of mine called for help and I was rushed by ambulance to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, CA.

Once in the catheterization lab, Sanjay Bhojraj, MD, recognized I was in cardiogenic shock. Dr. Bhojraj implanted the Impella CP® heart pump before performing a procedure to clear blocked arteries and restore blood flow to my heart. The Impella would allow my heart to rest and recover. After three days of support, my heart function returned to normal. I left the hospital nine days later and completed cardiac rehab.

It’s been two years since my heart attack, and I often meet with some of the members of my cardiac rescue team to catch a few waves together. Dr. Bhojraj and I still regularly surf together on Sunday mornings at San Onofre or Doheny Beach. 

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