Patient Case Study #1
It was a normal Thursday evening for Kelly Kryzak. She was working at a local nursery school, cutting out paper hearts for the kids in celebration of Valentine’s Day when she started to feel unwell. A few hours later at home, she began experiencing chest pains, pain in her left arm and shoulder, and vomiting.
Her husband immediately called 9-1-1.
Shortly after arriving at Garnet Health Medical Center Emergency Department, blood work confirmed that Kelly had suffered a mild heart attack.
“The doctor came in and told me I suffered a mild heart attack and they were going to take me to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab to see what kind of damage it did to the heart,” Kelly said.
When she reached the Cath Lab, Kelly suffered cardiac arrest. It took nearly 50 attempts with the automated external defibrillator (AED) to get Kelly’s heart to beat normally again. She was quickly outfitted with the Impella® heart pump to temporarily assist the pumping function of her heart, and then airlifted to Westchester Medical Center.
“I woke up 12 days later with a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD),” Kelly said. “I had that for 13 months and then I had a heart transplant.”
As with most heart emergencies, time was pivotal to Kelly’s survival. Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating unexpectedly. Death occurs within minutes if the victim does not receive treatment.
“I was 45 years old when I had the heart attack that night,” Kelly said. “I went on and had three more heart attacks in that same night, the last one being massive. Garnet Health Medical Center’s fast response saved my life.”
Patient Case Study #2
In 2016, Veronica Rodriguez rushed into Garnet Health Medical Center Emergency Department with her 14-year-old son, EJ.
EJ had a serious head injury as a result of a fall at a friend’s house, and needed immediate treatment. Garnet Health Medical Center’s emergency care team went to work right away, and quickly assessed that EJ’s fall had caused a brain hemorrhage. In fact, his brain bleed was so severe that the pressure it caused had pushed his brain from one side of his head to the other.
With brain injuries, like many other injuries or illnesses, the possibility of recovery can hinge on just a few precious seconds.
“When EJ came to us, he was having what easily could have turned out to be the worst day of his life,” said Medical Director & Chairman of Emergency Medicine for Garnet Health Medical Center Dr. Mathew Meigh. “We were able to mobilize our team of specialists and get him what he needed and turn that around for him.”
“You think your child is going to die,” Veronica said. “They told me that if I’d brought him in any later, the results might not have been as positive as they were.”
“The feeling I had waking up, knowing what happened before, but feeling ok - like nothing happened… I don’t think I’ll ever have a feeling of relief like that ever again,” EJ said. “It was truly a miracle. “