Guthrie’s Holiday Gift: Renewed Heart Health

Guthrie’s Holiday Gift: Renewed Heart Health

“The emergency doctors and cardiologists at Guthrie saved my life. They did an excellent job, and I thought the whole staff was terrific. We’re very proud of my son, and we’re happy he and his colleagues really know their stuff and offer patients the best possible treatment.” – Al Ovedovitz

Spending the 2016 holidays with his son’s family, Al Ovedovitz was putting his grandfatherly expertise to work, helping grandson Caleb assemble his new Nerf gun. Suddenly, the fun he was having turned to extreme fatigue. He felt faint, cold and clammy, and very weak. As a type 2 diabetic, he immediately assumed he was having a severe low blood sugar attack. But when orange juice and rest didn’t turn things around, son Lon Ovedovitz, MD – an emergency medicine specialist at Guthrie – began to suspect he might be having a heart attack and said, “Dad, you’re going to the ER.”

What happened next, at the Guthrie emergency room and cardiac catheterization laboratory, saved his life, says Al, a retired associate professor of computer information systems and decision sciences at St. John’s University. From the time he arrived at the ER, he knew his heart was in good hands. Guthrie has been named one of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics 10 times.

“They confirmed I was having a heart attack,” recalls Al. “They quickly prepared me to go to the cardiac area, and Dr. [Sudhakar] Sattur inserted a stent to open the clogged artery. My wife says when I went in, I looked ashen, but when I came out, I looked like myself again.”

Al felt better almost immediately. His energy and strength bounced back, and he was discharged from the hospital after a few days. After staying in the area for a little while to relax and recharge with his family, he and his wife set off for home in Dix Hills, New York. There, he began a three-day-per-week cardiac rehabilitation program at Long Island’s Good Samaritan Hospital.

A Road to Recovery Paved with Gratitude

Though Al stayed “calm and cool” during his ER and cardiac treatments, the heart attack did catch him off guard, he admits.

“I was already exercising regularly and following a fairly good diet. I had my diabetes under control. I even had a cardiac exam just a couple of weeks before, and everything registered fine,” he says. “Only one of my arteries was at all clogged, which even confounded the doctors. All I can think was maybe it kinked in some way that allowed a blockage to form.”

With the new stent, Al says, his artery is all clear. He’s been feeling great and is back to his normal exercise and life routines. He sees a cardiologist at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island to keep track of his ongoing heart health.

“Thankfully, everything is looking good,” says Ovedovitz.