Patient Story

Jay Sanchez’s Journey to Heart Recovery: From Cardiogenic Shock to Proud Father

My name is Joe (Jay) Sanchez and I am from Santa Fe, NM. I have worked with the New Mexico National Guard for 30 years and I am a single father of one daughter, Emily, who turned eight in March.

After attending spin class on April 14, 2016, I knew something didn’t feel right. I drove myself to CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe where I suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed. After receiving CPR for nearly an hour, I was taken to the catheterization lab in cardiogenic shock where multiple stents were placed along with an intraaortic balloon pump. Recognizing the need for additional hemodynamic support, my cardiologist inserted the Impella 2.5® to allow my heart to rest.

Once in the ICU, my family was told that I had a 1% chance of survival and I may have severe brain damage and possible paralysis. But after a few days of Impella support, my heart function began improving and the Impella was removed. After eight days of sedation, I awoke with no brain damage, paralysis, or heart damage. I walked out of the hospital under my own power and with my native heart.

My heart has fully recovered and I feel as healthy, if not heathier, than I did prior to my heart attack. Thanks to the Impella heart pump and the exceptional care I received from my medical teams, I am able to raise my daughter and, as a single father, it means the world to me.

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