Posts tagged ‘Penn State Heart and Vascular Institute’

And the beat goes on…heart transplant patients, surgeons reunite

Constance Murray, who underwent a heart transplant in 1986, is embraced by Dr. John Pennock, the surgeon who performed the surgery. She is wearing a blazer and top and has her eyes closed. Dr. Pennock is wearing glasses and a suit and tie. Behind them two women stand at a table with a sign “Save Lives” on it.
Constance Murray, who underwent a heart transplant in 1986, is embraced by Dr. John Pennock, the surgeon who performed the surgery, at Hershey Medical Center’s annual heart transplant reunion.

By Carolyn Kimmel

To Constance Murray, heart transplantation sounded like something out of science fiction movie – one she certainly didn’t care to star in.

It was 1986, and Murray had struggled for more than a year with shortness of breath when she climbed stairs or walked even a short distance. Her symptoms were steadily worsening.

When a diagnosis of congestive cardiomyopathy was made, Murray faced two choices – medications that had about a 1% chance of working or a heart transplant.

“Heart transplant surgery was new then,” the New Cumberland resident said. “I had read about people dying after it. I said ‘no.’ I couldn’t handle the thought of that.”

Things only worsened.

(more…)

June 5, 2019 at 12:20 pm Leave a comment

An artificial heart saved my life: LVAD patients and families share stories at reunion

Al Dolatoski and his wife Joyce hold hands and hold microphones as they sing Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” during the LVAD Celebration of Life. Al is sitting in a wheelchair and wearing a sweatshirt and hat. He has an LVAD hanging by a strap around his shoulder. Joyce is wearing a flowered dress and hat.

Al Dolatoski and his wife Joyce sing their rendition of Sonny and Cher’s “I Got You Babe” during the LVAD Celebration of Life.

By Bonnie Adams

Al Dolatoski felt short of breath and just didn’t feel well on Dec. 16, so his wife took him to an area hospital. There, he suffered a massive heart attack and underwent emergency heart bypass surgery.

Joyce Dolatoski remembers the panic she felt when he repeatedly coded in the intensive care unit and was resuscitated five times. She was relieved when told that he was being flown to Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.

The couple told their story at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s annual Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) Reunion on April 26. The six patients who attended share a history of severe heart failure that required an LVAD to pump blood throughout their bodies. About the size of a D battery, the devices can be used as a bridge to a heart transplant or as an alternative to transplant.

LVAD Celebration 2019 - Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (more…)

May 15, 2019 at 10:00 am Leave a comment


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