Sierra Vista High School football coach Sergio Villasenor is recovering at the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center after suffering an apparent heart attack while he was on a ladder trimming his tree last week, his son and assistant Dons coach Matt Villasenor confirmed on Sunday.
Sergio Villasenor, 61, lost consciousness while on his ladder and fell to the ground and suffered injuries and internal bleeding in his head. He was rushed to the hospital and is in stable condition, but he is expected to have coronary bypass surgery on Tuesday, Matt said.
Sergio Villasenor was alert enough to write a message to his football team, which his son Matt shared.
“I didn’t want you to hear this from someone else, but on Thursday I was on a ladder doing some trimming and I had a heart related blackout,” Sergio Villasenor wrote. “The next thing I realized I was in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.
“I received three staples on a head wound, and had some bleeding in the brain/head area and also found out it was a mild heart attack. Since then I’ve had several tests done and I will be needing bypass heart surgery.”
Sergio Villasenor finished his first season with the Dons, and had tremendous success. He took over a team that was 0-10 the year before and led them to the Montview League championship and the Division 14 quarterfinals.
The Dons had won their first 11 games on the field before losing in the playoffs, but had to forfeit five wins during the season because of an ineligible player. But on the field, they were the surprise team of the year.
“You will not get rid of me that easy,” was how Sergio Villasenor finished his statement to his team. “I will recover and be back to coaching soon. I promised you and the community a few state championships.”
Matt Villasenor said doctors are waiting for the trauma to his head to subside before during the heart surgery, and he’s concerned for his dad because he’s had previous health issues related to his heart.
“About eight years ago, my senior year in high school, he had about five heart surgeries in a year, and he’s also had back surgery,” Matt said. “No one would ever guess he has four stents and a ballon in his heart and also has a bracket and four screws holding his back and spine.
“We’re just all praying and hoping he gets through this just fine. We all know he’s a strong man, but it’s tough, you know.”
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, his family is not able to visit him, which has made the ordeal even more difficult.
“We’re all trying to remain strong,” Matt said. “The toughest part is not being at the hospital to comfort him, especially for my mom. He’s been there alone and that’s tough on everyone.”