David's Heart

God forever changed the lives of David, Leann, and James Tadrzak on April 9, 2012. David and James, his son, were driving home from Cypress Christian School baseball practice, when David began to feel bad and decided to pull into the Lowe’s parking lot (1st God thing). He got out
of his truck, lay on the ground (2nd God thing) and told James to call his Grammy to ask what the symptoms were for heat stroke while they waited on Leann to arrive.

While talking with his grandmother, James noticed that his father had become unresponsive. James hung up and tried to call 911 with David’s phone but it would not go through (3rd God thing). He then flagged down a man in the parking lot and asked if he could use his phone to call 911. That phone also would not go through, so he then had to stop a second person and thankfully, the call went through. When his mother Leann arrived, James handed her the phone. She told the 911 operator that David was gray from the neck up and did not appear to be breathing. When the man, whose phone they were using, heard David was not breathing he dropped to his knees and began CPR (4th God thing. If David’s phone had gone through, there would not have been someone there to start CPR). As soon as the CPR was started the EMS drove up (5th God thing). They were right across the street from Lowe’s. They began to work
on David in the parking lot and had to use an AED twice before David was stable enough to ride in the ambulance. (The EMS guy would later visit David and tell Leann that
it was the first time in his career that he had seen a heart attack victim’s heart resume beating on its own, without medication, after being shocked.)

David arrived at St. Luke’s Hospital with his heart beating but still in the process of having a heart
attack. They rushed David to surgery and began the process of heart catheterization. The family was told that it would be about a 45 minute procedure. However, it was some two hours later before the doctor appeared. He told the family that David should have never made into the back of the ambulance. David had what the doctors call

a Widow Maker: the main artery to the heart was 100% blocked. The doctors worked very hard to clean the artery out so a stint could be placed into the area of the blockage (6th God thing).

David was stable for a while as they were trying to bring his body temperature down to help with the brain trauma sustained when his blood pressure bottomed out and he stopped breathing for nearly ten minutes. He then had to be rushed back into the Cath Lab to have a balloon pump placed around his heart which stayed in place till Thursday evening.

David stayed in St. Luke’s hospital for a total of three weeks. He was then transferred to TIRR Memorial Herman Hospital for five weeks. While he was at TIRR, David worked with many therapists. Before he left TIRR David was walking, with much help, five hundred feet. He was then transferred to a skilled nursing facility.

After two and a half weeks, on July19, 2012, David returned home, however with a feeding tube and a catheter. Because of the lack of therapy David received from the skilled nursing facility, when he arrived home he could no longer sit, stand, or walk with even assistance. The family had to start from scratch again. 

It was about mid-August when David spoke his first word in four months. After that, things started hopping. David began to sit without being belted into a chair as
well stand and walk with assistance. By the end of August David was walking totally on his own. The catheter was removed in early September and the feeding tube came out at end of December 2012. 

Since mid-September 2012, David has been in involved with speech, vision, and occupational therapies. Each one
of the different therapies has made a huge difference in
the process of David’s recovery. He is also involved with a program called Learning Rx, a brain training program that is helping him recover from the brain injury. David also works with a trainer twice a week, which is helping with his overall physical abilities.

David has come such a long way, and still has far to
go, but with God’s direction and provisions, the Tadrzaks know that David will make a full recovery. He is one, big walking miracle “in progress” and the biggest one is that David’s heart is almost 100% fully functional. The family was told that his heart should be 40% damaged due to the heart attack. However, after having a second heart cath done on July 5, 2012, the test showed that David’s heart had less than 2% damage at the very tip.

God is in the business of miracles and the Tadrzak family is able to see one almost every day. Everything happens in God’s will, God’s way, and in God’s timing! 

By: Leann Tadrzak