MAHOPAC, N.Y. -- When a family member receives life-saving treatment from a doctor and medical staff, the next of kin often take notice. In the case of the Hartnett family, gaining a new lease on life wasn't just a one-time affair.
When Luisa Hartnett, 67, underwent emergency heart surgery last fall, she became the third member of her family to undergo surgery at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). “This highlights what Westchester Medical Center does,” said her cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Joshua B. Goldberg. “We, as a medical community, help our patients and their families through the wide spectrum of medical issues that may arise at all stages of their lives.”
The Hartnetts’ story began more than 25 years ago. Luisa, a retired middle school teacher, and John, 67, a bus driver, have three grown children and one grandchild. When their son Michael was 5, he developed a 105-degree fever from a severe urinary tract infection. A urologist at Westchester Medical Center discovered that his ureters, which connect the kidneys to the bladder, were not in the normal positions. Surgery corrected the malformation, and he’s been problem-free since.
Fast-forward to 2010, when John had an echocardiogram and cardiac catheterization that showed three blocked cardiac arteries. He was sent to Westchester Medical Center for more tests, which showed that one of his arteries was 90 percent blocked. John had triple bypass surgery at the medical center, and, like Michael, now 32, has had no further problems.
Finally, in September 2017, Luisa faced a health crisis requiring surgical intervention. One night, as she was getting ready for bed, she felt a pain in her right leg. She didn’t think much of it at the time: “At my age, you step wrong, you twist an ankle,” she said. It still hurt the next day, but the day after that she found herself short of breath. “I was making the bed and huffing and puffing,” she said. She went to see her internist, and while being examined, she felt lightheaded. “I told the nurse I was going to pass out, and I went boom!” she said.
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