One Bypass Surgery, Two Hearts Strengthened
For months, John’s cardiac symptoms were worsening. Learn what his wife wishes he had done sooner.
One of the biggest challenges men face in their cardiac health is denial. No one can relate more than John’s wife, Wendy.
The couple met at Michigan State University nearly 50 years ago. Five children and nine grandchildren later, the couple was happily enjoying a summer vacation with their family when John began experiencing some chest tightness on a hike. John brushed it off, and the couple went back to enjoying their daily life at home in Vineland, NJ.
What Wendy didn’t know was that John’s symptoms were slowly getting worse.
“As the three months went by, he was having more and more episodes of a longer duration, and he didn’t really tell me about that,” Wendy recalls.
One November day, John was mowing the lawn when he broke out into a cold sweat. Wendy encouraged him to call the doctor. “When we contacted the doctor and they said, ‘Go to the emergency’, we were like, ‘Wow, it’s really not an emergency.’ But what he didn’t tell me was it was slowly getting worse,” she says.
John’s cardiologist, Dr. Thomas Moccia, and cardiac surgeon, Dr. Michael Rosenbloom, agree that the topic of denial is one very relatable to men.
With one phone call, Wendy’s outlook changed.
She recalls, “Up until this time, we had been pretty lucky about our health, so I was blown away when the doctor called and said John had to have bypass surgery. I was actually speechless, because I wasn’t really expecting it.”
John had his catheterization in the morning and was scheduled to go into surgery for four critical blockages the next day.
Due to COVID protocols at the time, it wasn’t until after John’s bypass surgery that Wendy finally recalls meeting Dr. Rosenbloom in person. “Truthfully, I was a little in awe, you know? Because he just saved my husband’s life,” Wendy recalls.
Wendy’s gratitude extends from the doctors and nurses to the entire cardiac care staff.
“The postoperative care at Cooper and Inspira was excellent.” Wendy recalls. “They did everything to make our experience a positive one. They not only took care of my husband, but they also took care of me. And for that I am extremely grateful.”
Today, John and Wendy are back to doing all of the things they live for, along with a few new heart-healthy ones.
“We’ve definitely changed our diet, and we exercise. We walk at least an hour, three times a week. And we just generally realize that he’s been given a second chance.”
Wendy wants to encourage others to not wait to be seen by a physician when something isn’t right.
She says, “We didn’t understand that. If it ever happens to you, go to the hospital right away. That way you won’t waste that two months. Get it taken care of.”