Two hearts coming together

April 16, 2021 Kelby Johnson

[3 MIN READ | 20 MIN LISTEN]

Bob Kiefer, a Southern California resident, had a major health scare on February 25th 2019 that threatened his passion for riding the waves with his friends. During that day on the beach, Bob had a heart attack that required immediate care.

Lucky for Bob, Dr. Sanjay Bhojraj, a cardiologist at Providence Mission Hospital in Southern California and his care team were ready to perform an emergency surgery that saved his life. The cardiac cath lab team at Providence Mission Hospital was activated and immediately sprang into action, opening a blocked artery in Bob’s heart and putting him on a device that helped his heart recover.

“When I think about the things in the universe that had to align to get Bob to Mission hospital, it is really a miracle that he survived,” Sanjay noted. “When he came in, he was not in very good shape and the team went full-court press for Bob…and I’m very grateful that we did, or I wouldn’t have the great friend I have today.”

Their story is not just about great care, but about a unique bond between two souls – beyond the treatment itself – showcasing the power of human connection. When one’s heart is about to stop, the patient understands how fragile life is…with its abundance of joys and unavoidable pains. After the heart attack, Bob has a newfound appreciation for the preciousness of life as well for his new friend Sanjay.

In the video below, Bob and Sanjay share the origins of their journey together. Watch the five-minute video below.

Where are they now?

Bob’s life was not just saved, he was also able to return to the surfing life he’d become accustomed to. In the process, he received the world-class care he deserved as well as a friend for a lifetime. It was Sanjay’s expertise, kindness, understanding and compassion that allowed for the formation of such a bond ­– true connection that involved not one, but two hearts.

Two years after they met we caught up with Bob and Sanjay to learn more about their individual and collective journeys. We learned that their bond changed their lives significantly, allowing them both to have deeper connections with themselves, others, and the universe as a whole. 

In this “where are they now” conversation, Sanjay and Bob recall their journey together and share how their relationship has evolved. This conversation was recorded on 25 February 2021, two years after Bob’s heart attack on the beach. Listen to the conversation below.

We hope you will find inspiration and hope from Bob and Sanjay’s care journey together and the lasting friendship they created together.

Learn more about the heart and cardiovascular services in Southern California here

About the Author

Kelby has spent the last three-plus years leading the content strategy and editorial programming for Providence. His passion is finding the cultural insights that can be turned into relevant and helpful stories that will connect with people emotionally.

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