Nine years ago, I knew in my heart that something was wrong. I was on a Mediterranean cruise with my wife, and all I wanted to do was stay in my cabin and sleep.
I’m originally from County Cavan, Ireland, and have remained active my whole life. I worked as a New York City ambulance driver in the 1960’s, so I recognized that some of my symptoms could be a sign of a cardiac issue.
As soon as I got back to South Florida, I scheduled an appointment with my family physician who wanted me to see a cardiologist immediately. That is how I came to know the team who made it their mission to mend my heart.
After my work-up, the doctor sat me down and told me about the blockages and lack of oxygen getting to my heart. My whole life flashed right in front of me. I am diabetic, but managed it right and stayed active.
I always knew that it could happen to anyone, but I never thought it would happen to me. Three weeks after my Mediterranean cruise, I became an open heart surgery survivor.
I didn’t have much choice because the main artery on my left side was 95 percent blocked. The doctor told me that open heart surgery would be my best option.
He took the time to explain the process and the procedure to me. I put my heart in his hands along with the cardiac team at the award-winning Heart Institute at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, and they did a great job.
My surgery was a success and the nurses had me up and walking the next day. Five days later, I was home resting on my big easy chair followed by three months of rehabilitation.
My heart is beating strong, against the odds. I know it is because of the excellent care I received.
That is one of the reasons why I got involved with the American Heart Association and became president of the Heart to Heart Club at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, a survivor’s support group.
I want others to know about my open heart surgery experience, and I want them to know there is hope.
Today, I volunteer a lot and still work out at the gym three times a week. My big thing is giving back to the neighborhood and the kids. I care about my community, the City of Palm Beach Gardens, and am active in my homeowners association of which I am a past president.
My heart is strong now, and that allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of everything!
This testimonial reflects results achieved by this patient. Each case must be independently evaluated and managed.