Surviving a Heart Attack with Cutting Edge Care Close to Home

Emilio DeAngelis survived a heart attack and is now participating in St. Vincent Medical Center's Cardiac Rehab program.

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH) — Last summer Emilio DeAngelis began feeling a pain throughout his chest, shoulders and neck.

“My blood pressure was normal; my cholesterol was normal,” he recalled. “It was a surprise to me.”

A week later the pain intensified. The 89-year-old realized he was having a heart attack and was taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport.

“When someone has a heart attack, what happens is the blood vessel that supplies an area of the heart muscle becomes totally blocked,” explained Jeffrey Berman, MD, FCCC, the vice chairman of cardiovascular medicine at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

DeAngelis’ right coronary artery was 90 percent occluded.

“The quicker we get that artery open and restore blood flow to the heart, the less heart muscle injury will occur,” Dr. Berman said.

DeAngelis was brought into St. Vincent’s state-of-the-art cath lab, where, through a small incision in the groin, Dr. Berman performed a balloon angioplasty to open up the blockage.

“Our goal is to get the artery open within 60 to 90 minutes,” he said.

A stent was then placed in the artery to restore blood flow.

“A stent is a little metal tube that holds the artery open,” Dr. Berman explained.

DeAngelis was home within a few days. Today he’s feeling better than ever, and is continuing his recovery in St. Vincent’s Cardiac Rehab program.

“Cardiac Rehab is a structured program where the patients come in to the rehab facility three times a week for 12 weeks and they learn about exercise, diet, and other lifestyle changes,” Dr. Berman said.

“They build up your muscle, shoulder, the walking, the balance, it’s amazing,” DeAngelis said.

“It’s incredibly gratifying when we see someone come in who’s having what could be a devastating heart attack, we’re able to stop that process and they return to a totally normal life,” Dr. Berman added.

Visit to learn more.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s