CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The executive director of the St. Andrews Parish Parks and Playgrounds is in a Texas hospital awaiting a heart transplant after surviving a massive heart attack.
Kevin Walsh, who has worked for the agency for 22 years, suffered the heart attack while returning from a business trip.
Walsh boarded a plane in Dallas on Sept. 16 and sent a text to his wife to let her know he was on the way home. Twenty-five minutes into flight, he fell ill and two physicians on board alerted the pilot that Walsh was showing symptoms of a heart attack.
The flight was diverted back to Dallas. Doctors say the type of heart attack Walsh had is called “the widow maker,” one of the deadliest types.
“It’s just crazy that he had a heart attack because nothing he ever did would lead to a heart attack," daughter Candace Fetuao said. “He would wake up and exercise in their bedroom every day before work.”.
Doctors in Dallas say it’s a miracle he’s alive.
“He had to be in surgery within 90 minutes. He was on the airplane, they didn’t get him to surgery until 6 hours after the heart attack technically started,” Fetuao said.
But the road to recovery is just beginning and Kevin will need a heart transplant. His wife, Nancy, dropped everything to be by his side. Eventually, Walsh will have to fly to Dallas every month for check-ups and his wife will be a 24/7 caregiver.
“Kevin Walsh is the most amazing man I’ve ever known," she said. "He’s so kind and generous. I say all the time, it’s because of him, I am the person I am today.”
His family is praying that Walsh is blessed with a second miracle.
“He saved all of our lives and we want a chance to save his,” his other daughter, Rachel Fetuao, said.