A special moment of gratitude took place at University Hospitals St. John Medical Center Monday afternoon when cardiac patient Eileen Horning visited the hospital to say thank you for saving her life in January.
Eileen’s visit was sparked by a letter she sent recently asking hospital officials how she could best acknowledge the care she received.
“I wanted to speak with someone regarding how it would be possible for me to thank both the attending Emergency Room Doctor, David McConoughey and Cardiologist, Dr. Ramesh Brahmbhatt for saving my life early morning of January 31,” wrote Eileen to the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Atul Hulyalkar, MD.
“Both Doctors were outstanding in determining a diagnosis of Tamponade (fluid around the heart) and treating me in the Cath lab, relieving the pressure and eliminating a fatal condition. My heart was being crushed by the amount of fluid that had developed around my heart,” reported Eileen.
A surprise meeting was set up Monday in the ED where Drs. McConoughey and Brahmbhatt were reunited with their former patient.
“It was a blessing to be able to help you,” said Dr. McConoughey. “It was all teamwork,” added Dr. Brahmbhatt as they exchanged embraces with the grateful patient.
Both physicians were presented with VIP awards by Stephen Evans, MD, President, UH St. John Medical Staff. “This award is something that is long overdue to our physicians,” he said. “We call it the VIP award because that is what you are, Very Important Physicians.”
The sentiments of both doctors were echoed by Dr. Hulyalkar, who once again credited the excellence of care to the entire UH St. John and University Hospitals continuum of treatment, including the cath lab team and ED nurses.
“If it were not for the immediate action of both Dr. McConoughey and Dr. Brahmbhatt and their staff in the early morning of January 31, I know that I would not have gotten to UH Cleveland,” reports Eileen.
It was there that Dr. Judith Mackall repaired the heart condition which led to her cardiac tamponade – pressure on the heart that occurs when blood or fluid builds up in the space between the heart muscle and the outer covering sac of the heart – with a corrected pacemaker placement.
“I am not aware how often after a patient leaves the emergency room that an attending physician ever knows what the final outcome is with their patient they treated,” said Eileen.
“But I would appreciate the chance to let both Doctors know how grateful I am to have had a third chance at life in such a short period of time.
“If there is a recognition program at St John Medical Center, I would like to recommend both these Doctors. My stars were aligned on January 31 and I am so blessed these two doctors treated me,” said Eileen.