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Sifted and Shaken: the Day My Husband Survived a Heart Attack and What it Taught Him

Updated: Dec 6, 2019

Two weeks ago, my husband, Jose, had a major heart attack. He had a complete blockage from a blood clot in his right coronary artery. This was an utter shock. He’s only 47 years old. He exercised regularly and ate healthier than the average American diet. All that stood between saving or losing his life that day were a few priceless minutes. Everything aligned perfectly and he lived.

For a person who nearly loses his life, priorities become crystal clear.

As Jose explains, “it’s as though all of the things in my life have been put into a sift and then shaken. Just about everything fell out. What’s left is what really matters.”

As he laid awake on that table, the surgeon inserted a stent into the artery in his wrist and fished it through the long passage until it reached his heart. It was as though that tiny little object carried with it a message directly from God, a very short list of what really mattered in this life.

What remained after he had been sifted and shaken were people. Connection. Love. Faith. God.

When it reached just the right place in his heart, that little stent was expanded so that it would forever remain in place and provide life-giving support.

It was actually that short list of what matters most that saved Jose's life.

Jose was at work when he felt like he was going to pass out. He got up to walk around, hoping that would help the feeling pass. Instead, it got worse. He grabbed a wall and told people who were near him that he felt like he was going to pass out.

He works in a large company and although one could get lost in such a large workplace, he had taken the time to develop a genuine connection with many of the people there. Some helped him to a chair and another began asking him to tap his fingers together while answering questions. They could see that he was having a hard time so they called an ambulance. Another friend called me and told me to meet him at the hospital. So many people surrounded him with love and support.

Just like a scene from a movie, he was wheeled into the Emergency Room where they cut his shirt open. The surgeon told Jose that he was having a major heart attack and explained what he was going to do to help him. He also explained what the possible side effects could be. At the end of the list was death.

Jose took a breath and then asked, “I’m having a heart attack?”


The procedure started.

You may be reading this, imagining what you might think about in those last moments. Jose had imagined his last thoughts would be about the time we had spent together, where he went wrong in life, and how he could’ve done things better. Maybe he would’ve prayed that God would let him live.

But he didn’t. None of those things went through his mind.

Jose closed his eyes and prayed, “God, please take care of Staci.”

Then he felt an incredible peace come over him and he was filled with faith that he would live. He began thinking about our future together. An expectant hope washed over him as though he were opening a rare gift. He thought about how we would make the most of the rest of our time together.

A solitary thought of the past made its way into Jose’s mind. He replayed that morning when we said goodbye. A kiss and a hug. I love you and I hope you have a good day. He was relieved, knowing that the last moments we spent together were loving and kind.

God had carefully pieced together every moment that would make November 19, 2019, the day that my husband lived. God has given us the gift of fifteen more days together as of the day I’m writing this. He’s given us the gift of realizing what it is to feel immense gratitude. He’s sifted and shaken our worlds so that all of the unimportant things fall away and all that remains are what is truly valuable.

People. Connection. Love. Faith. God.


For more information on keeping your heart healthy, please visit


Have you had a moment of clarity or revelation? I'd love to hear from you! Share what happened and what you learned in the comments sections below.


Read more from Staci Diffendaffer at Own Your Victory and don't forget to hang out on the socials!


Staci Diffendaffer
Staci Diffendaffer
Dec 09, 2019

Wow! I'm sorry you had to go through all that, Joe. I'm looking forward to hearing how God brought good out of those situations!


Thankful! Hope you and Jose are doing well now. Sometime we'll talk and I'll share my 2 heart episodes. Heart attack & 5 bypass open heart surgery @ 46. Cardiac arrest (not heart attack) 6 years ago but even more good came from the bad on that one. Hope we can talk before long.


Staci Diffendaffer
Staci Diffendaffer
Dec 04, 2019

Yes, so grateful, Dwight! Thanks for the kind words!


Dec 04, 2019

Wow! Thank God Jose survived. Thanks for sharing this life changing event. Beautiful writing, Staci.

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