Man’s journey to Cleveland includes detour for life-saving heart surgery

Father of three’s odyssey starts on Mother’s Day and ends with a happy Father’s Day
Father's Day has special meaning for a father of three who can celebrate because of life-saving...
Father's Day has special meaning for a father of three who can celebrate because of life-saving surgery(Esther Jayaseelan)
Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 1:18 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - For Daniel and Esther Jayaseelan, their journey started on Mother’s Day.

They were moving from suburban Chicago to Avon Lake after Daniel started a new job in Sandusky, but when they checked into a hotel with their three boys, 5-year-old Michael, 3-year-old Gabriel, and 2-year-old Jeremiah, Daniel experienced sharp jaw pain and faintness.

“I Googled it and it said it was symptoms of a heart attack,” said Jayaseelan.

“This is an emergency, no question about it,” said Daniel Burns, MD, thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon at Cleveland Clinic. “It’s known as an aortic dissection, and what it is, it’s a tear in one of the inner layers of the artery of the aorta, the main blood vessel coming out of the heart.”

He went to a Sandusky hospital where doctors did a CAT scan.

“Once they did the scan,” Jayaseelan remembered, “they basically said this is deadly.”

They flew the 40-year-old native of India from Sandusky to the main campus of Cleveland Clinic.

“The fear was like when I was going in that helicopter and landing,” said Jayaseelan. “I had fear whether I would see my kids and wife again.”

Jayaseelan is out of the hospital and back home rehabbing. He said he’s ready to celebrate Father’s Day while everyone involved understands the significance of the last month.

“Couple of days he just teared up because looking at the boys, what a big blessing that he’s alive,” said his wife, Esther. “I’m so grateful to have my husband right here.”

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