Dr. Boyle in Life-Flight Helicopter

MIDDLETOWN, NY – After decades of performing life-saving operations on children, a pediatric cardiologist faced his own life-threatening heart attack while on vacation in Sullivan County. Fortunately, Garnet Health’s critical access hospital in Callicoon, and Garnet Health’s cardiac team in Middletown were prepared to handle this emergency with expertise and efficiency.

Dr. Gerard Boyle dedicated his professional life to pediatric cardiology. His research has been extensively published in peer-reviewed medical journals, he has advanced to Associate Professor of Pediatrics at both The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland; and he has been named among America’s Top Cardiologists. He is currently serving as the Medical Director of Pediatric Heart Failure and Transplant Services at the Cleveland Clinic.

It was while on a two-week vacation to the Catskills in September that Dr. Boyle woke at 6:30 a.m. with right shoulder pain, which quickly spread to his chest. Being well-aware of what these symptoms may indicate, Dr. Boyle asked his wife to take him to Garnet Health’s critical access hospital in Callicoon, thankfully just five minutes away from where they were staying. 

Within minutes, two IV’s had been placed, blood work drawn, and an E.C.G. was showing that he was indeed having a heart attack. As the initial care was ongoing, a Life-Flight helicopter was activated, and Dr. Boyle was flown to Garnet Health Medical Center in Middletown, NY to be received by Dr. John Park and his team in the Emergency Department by 8:30 a.m.

Immediately taken into the cardiac catheterization lab, Dr. Boyle was introduced to Cardiologist Dr. Rishi Bajaj who would be performing his life-saving catheterization procedure.

“What surprised me the most was the speed which the diagnostic portion of the procedure was accomplished, and the therapeutic decisions made!” said Boyle. “A stent was placed and I was transferred to the CICU in under an hour. I immediately felt better.”

Once Dr. Boyle had recovered from sedation, Dr. Bajaj spent time explaining the procedures performed. He also discussed bringing Dr. Boyle back into the catheterization lab to investigate and treat a second lesion that was identified.

At that point, due to Dr. Boyle being a staff physician at the Cleveland Clinic, the Clinic offered to send a jet to bring Dr. Boyle back to Ohio for continued cardiac care.

However, Dr. Boyle felt he was already in good hands.

“I was so impressed by the expertise of Dr. Bajaj and his team I decided to continue my care at Garnet Health Medical Center. My second procedure was even quicker and as efficient as the first. I was discharged from the hospital and had a return visit with Dr. Bajaj the following day. It was then he cleared me to return to Ohio, and have my follow-up visits there.”

Now recovering at home, Dr. Boyle is impressed with the excellence, efficiency and quality of treatment he received at Garnet Health.
“I cannot say enough about all of the care I received at your facility and believe Dr. Bajaj is one of the finest and most courteous and caring physicians I could ever hope to meet. I have already recommended him to several of my family members who live in the area should they ever need a cardiologist!”

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and knowing your risk of developing it can help you lower your chances. Take Garnet Health’s Heart Health Risk Assessment to find out if your heart age is higher or lower than your actual age. After completing the online assessment, you'll receive a free personalized report that outlines important information about your heart health, including heart age, 10- and 30-year cardiovascular disease risk, and cardiovascular disease risk factors.

To find a cardiologist at Garnet Health, please use the provider finder search at our website, and to learn more about the conditions we treat, and the procedures and rehabilitation we offer, please visit our Heart Care page.

You can also make a donation to the Garnet Health Foundation to support its mission of advancement of exceptional healthcare at Garnet Health Medical Center. To date, the foundation has raised more than $31 million and invested these contributions in helping build the new hospital, purchasing state-of-the-art equipment, new technology and more.

Chris Thurtle, MA
By Chris Thurtle, MA

Chris Thurtle is Garnet Health’s Digital Marketing Manager in the Marketing and Corporate Communications department. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Combined Studies (Psychology/Information Systems) from Leicester University, U.K. and his Master's degree in Psychology from Marist College. Chris is passionate about building awareness and effectively communicating the services and support that Garnet Health can bring to the citizens of Sullivan and Orange Counties through digital and traditional marketing. He provides planning and leadership in digital marketing strategy, and digital communications. Chris can be reached at (845) 333-2363 or 

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