Cool Treatment Saves Community Activist

Organization: Service: Story Topics:
Heart Disease
Dave San Jose

While playing racquetball, Dave San Jose, founder of the youth program, Bikes 90800, suffered a cardiac arrest in August 2010. Two bystanders initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the Long Beach Fire Department reached him within four minutes and immediately began defibrillation. After he was stabilized he was taken to Long Beach Memorial's emergency department where they continued his critical care.

It was quickly discovered that Dave would need an angiogram, an imaging test located in the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute's catheterization lab. The MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute has four catheterization labs equipped with high resolution x-ray and film equipment, heart monitors, and TV monitors to guide catheters into the heart. After more tests, it was determined that Dave met the criteria required to receive the newly initiated hypothermia protocol using a machine called the "Arctic Sun."

Hypothermia is a procedure that cools down the patient's body temperature, which slows down the activity of the brain causing it to need less oxygen. During cardiac arrest, there is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. By using Hypothermia, Long Beach Memorial offers patients this technology designed to help prevent brain injury and save lives. Quick reactions and hypothermia saved Dave's life and aided in the prevention of neurological damage, often caused from cardiac arrest.

In September 2010, Dave returned to Long Beach Memorial to undergo open heart surgery for a two-vessel bypass, and today he is recovering. As part of his recovery, he attends therapy three times a week and that is helping him regain his strength.

"Because of the 'A-Team' at Long Beach Memorial, I feel fantastic," says Dave.

"The 'Arctic Sun' saved my life," says Dave. "It saved my life and heart; it can save more lives too." It is this mentality that makes Dave want to give back to Long Beach Memorial. In January 2011, his close friend, Carina, will be dancing in his honor at the 2nd Annual "Dancing for Our Stars" Gala benefiting the MemorialCare Heart and Vascular Institute. Carina is dancing to raise money, so the hospital can purchase another hypothermia machine.

For many years, Dave has been helping youth in Long Beach by providing workshops in repair, safety and maintenance training for bicycles. Today, Dave is so thankful for his health and how the hypothermia machine has benefitted his life that he is determined to expand his community outreach by helping others with their health, especially those who suffer cardiac arrest.

"It isn't about me, it is about saving someone else," says Dave.