Published on February 28, 2022

Cardiac care

Saving a Heart with Connected Care

Sangeeta Mody, 54, of Germantown didn’t feel well. When her stomach pain became pain in her back and shoulder and spread to her left arm, she feared that something was very wrong.

Sangeeta arrived at Adventist HealthCare Germantown Emergency Center, one of five freestanding emergency rooms in Maryland, where her care team immediately began an EKG, lab work and other tests to understand the cause of her symptoms.

“The ER team was focused on caring for me and watching out for me every minute I was there,” Sangeeta said. “Everybody went above and beyond.”

Shortly after Sangeeta arrived, she was told she was having a heart attack that required her to be transferred by ambulance and undergo a heart procedure in the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (CVIR) Department at Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center in Rockville.

Sangeeta’s doctor at Germantown Emergency Center, Jesus Sanchez, MD, coordinated with the CVIR team at Shady Grove Medical Center so they could take over her care the minute she arrived. Sangeeta underwent a non-surgical procedure called a coronary angioplasty that opens narrowed or blocked arteries with a balloon to reduce heart damage during or after a heart attack.

“Shady Grove Medical Center delivers more heart attack care than any other hospital in Montgomery County,” explained Rajeev Patel, MD, Sangeeta’s cardiologist. “When a patient is having a heart attack, time matters. The quicker the blocked artery is opened and the heart attack stopped, the more heart muscle can be saved,” Dr. Patel added.

Following Sangeeta’s angioplasty to open her blocked arteries, Dr. Patel explained to her and her husband that she had three blockages. One of arteries was completely blocked, causing her heart attack.

“We were so grateful that Dr. Patel took the time to show us the pictures of my heart and explain what was wrong, what was done to stop the heart attack and what he recommended next,” Sangeeta said.

The next step for Sangeeta was heart surgery. This time her heart care continued at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center in Silver Spring, which is recognized in the top 10% of hospitals nationwide for heart surgery.

Steven Boyce, MD, cardiac surgeon at White Oak Medical Center, met with the family to go over what to expect before, during and after surgery.

“We heard he was a very experienced heart surgeon. He was positive, always had a smile and visited me often,” Sangeeta said.

“We had complete confidence that I was in the right place.”

The surgery went well, and Sangeeta spent a few days in the dedicated cardiac care area at White Oak Medical Center to begin her recovery. She recounted that her nurses and the other team members who cared for her were some of the most special people she had ever met. “They went above and beyond in everything to make me feel at home,” she said.

“They were so kind to change my sheets, help me shower and even comb my hair.”

Sangeeta went home to continue her recovery with the assistance of nurses and a physical therapist from Adventist HealthCare Home Care Services. After a few weeks at home, Sangeeta was ready to move her recovery forward again. This time, she participated in several weeks of cardiac rehabilitation classes at the Center for Fitness & Health at Shady Grove Medical Center. Her supervised workouts helped to condition and strengthen her heart following her heart attack.

“Everything about my heart care was excellent and so seamless,” Sangeeta said. “I understand how care and coordination like this saves lives. It saved mine,” she added. “From start to finish, I was in the best of hands.”

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