Calif. Dad Who Was Unknowingly Having a Heart Attack Saved by His Newborn Daughter: 'Very Scary'

Jonathan Cedillo was already in the hospital for his daughter's early arrival when he started feeling a shooting pain in his shoulder

cedillo family
Jonathan Cedillo and Vanessa Sandoval with their daughter Juliette and the staff at Riverside Community Hospital. Photo: riverside community hospital

A California dad is crediting his newborn daughter for saving his life after her early arrival put him in the right place at the right time.

Jonathan Cedillo had no idea he was showing symptoms of a heart attack when he started to feel a shooting pain in his shoulder early last month, according to CW affiliate KTLA.

Thankfully, because Cedillo was already at Riverside Community Hospital due to his daughter Juliette's early arrival, medical staff immediately recognized what was happening and were able to treat him before it was too late.

"[Juliette] saved me, and I will be her sentinel and guardian as long as I can," Cedillo told KTLA. "She was born a month early. It was like, 'I've got to get out of here so I can save my daddy.'"

The fateful incident unfolded on Oct. 11, just three days after Cedillo's fiancée, Vanessa Sandoval, welcomed their healthy baby girl one month early, according to a press release from Riverside Community Hospital (RCH).

On that day, Cedillo, of Jurupa Valley, arrived at the hospital to pick up Sandoval and their daughter when he suddenly had to lie down in the extra bed in Sandoval's room due to "a terrible pain in his chest," the release states.

"He lost consciousness briefly and Vanessa's nurse, Brittney, knew something was wrong," RCH said, adding that Cedillo lost consciousness several more times, exhibited "shallow" breathing and stopped "breathing for a few seconds altogether" before he was rushed to the ER by nurses.

After lab work and vitals were taken, doctors determined that Cedillo suffered a heart attack and had a 100 percent blockage on his left anterior descending artery, according to the release.

As it turns out, Cedillo, a professional wrestler, had been "feeling really bad and achy" since the day before, RCH said.

That evening, he had trouble sleeping due to pain in his shoulder and arm — something he assumed was from a training injury on his shoulder that he had sustained a few months back.

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Following his injury, RCH said Cedillo experienced "a lot of pain in that area" and went to a chiropractor, but the pain continued to "come and go, sometimes lingering for days."

Assuming the pain was lingering from that injury, Cedillo brushed off the shoulder pain this time. But thankfully, when things got worse, he was exactly where he needed to be.

"Had Jonathan not been at the hospital when this occurred, he would have had permanent heart damage, or worse," RCH said, noting that the doctors eventually cleared his blocked artery and put in a stent.

Speaking to KTLA, Sandoval said of the ordeal: "It was very scary, and then to be told that he's in the ER and he's having heart attacks and he has been having heart attacks [due to a] 100 percent blockage, it's a good thing he was at the hospital when he was having his major heart attack."

"He probably would've passed away [at] the house, possibly by himself or even later that night," she added.

Cedillo remained in the hospital for a day and a half before he was released to go home to Sandoval and Juliette on Oct. 13, according to The Press-Enterprise.

Twelve days later, the new dad returned to RCH — but this time, it was to thank the staff for saving his life and giving him the opportunity to be around for his newborn daughter, the outlet reported.

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