Michele admits that had she felt the dull pain in the middle of the night she might have passed it off or waited until the morning. Luckily for her, the pain came while she was en route to a meeting at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center where she is Chief Technologist in the Special Coagulation Lab. As she approached the Emergency Department on her way, she was aware that the pain, dead center in her chest, was a pain she had never felt before. The decision to go to the Emergency Department was one that she will never regret.
Still, her abnormal EKG, and swift move to the cardiac catheterization lab for a balloon angioplasty to clear a clot in her artery, were bewildering to the active 53 year old. “I had none of the risk factors associated with heart disease so it was a mystery,” reflects Michele. “But it taught me not to gloss over symptoms, feel it is inconvenient or be embarrassed about getting help. Heart disease affects men and women, young and old.”
While her emotions were up and down as she came to grips with her situation, her husband, Bill, and her two grown daughters, helped her through. But she credits Marc Cohen, M.D., Director of Cardiology at Newark Beth Israel, along with the team in the Emergency and Cardiology Departments, for their quick assessment and rapid intervention that saved her life. “I was pretty much putty in their hands,” she recalls, “but they explained everything that was happening along the way.” Miraculously, Michele was back to work in less than two weeks.
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