Father credits his daughter's early birth with helping to save his life

·3 min read

A premature delivery not only brought one life into the world but also saved another.

Jonathan Cedillo, 47, credits his life to his daughter, Juliette Francine, a delayed discharge and an alert nurse.

“If Vanessa and Juliette had been released from the hospital when they were originally scheduled to, I would’ve been at home when it happened, and I probably would’ve died,” Cedillo told USA TODAY about his fiancée and daughter.

A month prior to the birth, he sustained a wrestling injury to his neck and shoulder but later learned the injury was more serious.

As a professional wrestler for 10 years, Cedillo was in and out of his local gym to stay in shape, but one day with one wrong move, he suffered an injury. Cedillo thought he would quickly recover with numerous chiropractor visits, but the pain returned periodically.

Turns out the California native was having mini heart attacks for about a month.

Newborn Juliette Francine Cedillo at Riverside Community Hospital.
Newborn Juliette Francine Cedillo at Riverside Community Hospital.

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On Oct. 7, his fiancée Vanessa Sandoval, 40, went into labor one month early, and the couple rushed to Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside, California. Juliette was born the next morning.

Shortly after, the mother and baby started to experience some health complications that kept them in the hospital.

By Sunday, they would be officially discharged, so Cedillo decided to get some rest before picking them up. He returned home for the night, and so did his shoulder and neck pain.

He remembers only sleeping in 10-15-minute intervals for a total of two hours due to the excruciating pain. Cedillo secured an early appointment with his chiropractor, as he usually does, but this time the adjustment didn't relieve the pain.

Jonathan Cedillo, 47, with fiancée Vanessa Sandoval and newborn daughter Juliette.
Jonathan Cedillo, 47, with fiancée Vanessa Sandoval and newborn daughter Juliette.

The pain felt different, he described. It started in his chest, running up his neck and down his arm.

"On the left-hand side, it felt like somebody had a spear that was impaling me right between my clavicle and scapula,” Cedillo said, describing the pain between his collarbone and shoulder blade.

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Although still in pain, he traveled back to the hospital to pick up Sandoval and the new addition to their family.

Upon arrival, he greeted his fiancée and laid down to rest, but in a moment he was in and out of consciousness.

The postpartum nurse noticed he didn't look well and suggested he go to the emergency room. By the time he was transferred, his breathing was shallow and he lost consciousness about three times, his fiancée recalled.

Jonathan Cedillo and his family.
Jonathan Cedillo and his family.

After an imaging procedure of his blood vessels, the doctor discovered a 100% blockage to his left anterior descending artery causing a heart attack. They removed the blockage, and Cedillo said he "felt better than ever." Now, 3 weeks into his recovery, he fatigues very quickly.

“The fact that this happened to me is just another hiccup in my life," he explained to USA TODAY. "(Vanessa) is just like me, she is a trooper. Her biggest fear was that he was going to keel over and she was going to stuck raising the baby by herself."

Follow Naomi Ludlow on Twitter: @itsnaomikay.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Unexpected heart attack caught after premature birth

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