In partnership with our patients:
On July 1, 2007, Paul Maher and his wife Lori, who was five months pregnant, put their daughter to bed. Seven minutes later Paul, who was just 41 years old, was seizing and in full cardiac arrest while his wife performed CPR and called the paramedics.
Paul was taken to Virginia Hospital Center where he and his children were born. He went directly to the Louise Sands Olmstead Cardiac Catheterization Lab, where it was discovered that his right coronary was 99% blocked. The Cath Lab team was able open his artery to 50% with a balloon, but the rest of his heart had additional blockages. A bypass surgery was needed and Paul was put on medications to keep his artery open and prevent seizures while also battling pneumonia. Another big concern was his neurological condition: his brain did not receive oxygen for a period during his cardiac arrest, which could cause permanent brain damage.
On July 3rd, while in CICU (Cardiac Intensive Care Unit) Paul’s sedatives were reduced so that he was able to regain consciousness. Neurologist Dr. Natalia Kayloe was encouraged by his progress and responsiveness. Dr. John R. Garrett, Chief of Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery, recommended surgery a week later when he would be strong enough for the procedure and recovery.
On July 9th, Paul had a Quintuple Bypass heart surgery performed by Dr. Garrett. Paul remembers, “My survival was considered a miracle.” Paul was warned that the first few days after surgery would be very tough. Those days of recovery included lots of pain, anemia, and headaches. Four days after his surgery, Paul also had a defibrillator implanted to manage an electrical problem as we ll in his heart. On July 14th he was discharged from the Hospital and went home to his family.
Paul appeared to be a healthy 41 year-old with no signs to warn of a heart attack, other than a family history including a father and brother having mild heart attacks at the same age. After his cardiac episode, his treatment includes clean living and follow- ups with his cardiologist, Dr. Antonio R. Parente of Virginia Heart. Paul writes a blog about his experience and heart health called “Heart Geek” and even started completing triathlons. Paul and his wife welcomed their son Damon only months after his heart attack.“Just as my wife and I were starting a family, I suffered a major cardiac event. without the outstanding care I received from doctors and nurses at Virginia Hospital Center, I would not be here today. thanks to Virginia Hospital Center, we are a family - and we are forever grateful!”
Donors who support Cardiac Services at Virginia Hospital Center, support a lifesaving area of the hospital. Thanks to donor gifts, Virginia Hospital Center is able to invest in the latest medical advances and training that patients like Paul count on.
IN THE WORDS OF OUR PATIENTS—
THANK YOU TO A SPECIAL CAREGIVER
Virginia Hospital Center patients express their gratitude to their physicians, nurses, and caregivers by making donations in their honor along with special messages.
“I received such high-quality care at Virginia Hospital Center. I am very grateful to have this hospital in my community.”
“My doctors and nurses took such good care of me. Thank you to all who were involved in my treatment and recovery. You brought me comfort during a difficult time.”
“I received top-notch care, close to home. Thank you for making my hospital stay as comfortable as possible.”