The day started like any other.
The morning of February 17, 2020, Daryl Oswald of Laguna Beach was working from his home office, API Lending — their family-owned business specializing in residential mortgage lending — with his wife, Kimberly.
Suddenly, Daryl, 56, felt something was very wrong.
He said, “I think I have to go to the hospital.”
Kimberly rushed upstairs to get dressed. From below she heard Daryl yell up, “Honey, hurry, I’m scared.”
Then there was a large thud. Kimberly ran downstairs to find Daryl on the floor. His face was purple. Panicked, she bolted outside and yelled to her neighbor to call 911.
Incredibly, another neighbor walking his dog said he was a CPR instructor and rushed in to help until the paramedics arrived. Paramedics continued CPR and shocked him five or six times, eventually arousing an effective heartbeat, although arrhythmic. They rushed him to Saddleback Medical Center’s ER.
At the ER, the electrocardiogram revealed he was having a massive heart attack.
“I remember they brought him in and drew the curtain around him,” said Kimberly. “I was in shock.”
The cardiologist, John Bahadorani, M.D., told Kimberly that Daryl would require a stent to open up his blocked artery. He was rushed to the catheterization (cath) lab to have a stent placed.
Throughout this ordeal, the couple was in awe of the care they received at Saddleback Medical Center.
“They really treat the whole family — it’s so special,” Kimberly said. “The nurses would check on me and made sure I ate, took a walk, and slept at night. The doctors kept me informed about Daryl constantly, the nurses stayed in touch. It was just wonderful.”
After about 3½ weeks in the ICU, Daryl was transferred to a transitional care facility. Then COVID-19 hit, and Kimberly wasn’t allowed to visit Daryl for two months. When he was discharged, Daryl was still having trouble breathing. After a few days, his condition worsened. They called 911, and suddenly, he was back at Saddleback’s ER again.
Amazingly, Saddleback’s cardiac team recognized Daryl’s name on the board and quickly mobilized. Dr. Bahadorani was by his side again, along with Jeffrey Altshuler, M.D., a renowned cardiac surgeon.
Doctors discovered that one of Daryl’s heart valves was
failing. He was quickly taken to the state-of-the-art hybrid operating suite, where Dr. Altshuler performed a surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), a non-invasive procedure where the heart valve is replaced through a small incision in the chest, instead of traditional open-heart surgery. They saved his life again.
“We want to thank the donors and all the people who made the hybrid room possible,” said Kim. Kim and Daryl are taking things easy, staying home during the pandemic, and cooking healthy meals.
“I feel really good today, I’m a 9 out of 10,” said Daryl. “If I had been treated anywhere else but Saddleback,
I wouldn’t be here.”
Saddleback Medical Center is renovating one of its three cath labs, critical for treatment of heart attacks like Daryl’s. To donate, text SBCATHLAB to 41444 or click here.