By: Jen Russon
Shortly after stepping foot in the emergency room at Broward Health Coral Springs, 61-year-old Igor Molina collapsed from an emergency cardiac condition.
“All I can remember was a crowd of medical professionals hovered over me, completely focused, explaining everything to me,” he said.
Molina vaguely recalls Bradley Petitdos, R.N., picking him up off the floor and hooking him up to an EKG, where it showed he was having a myocardial infarction — or heart attack. He was quickly medicated and stabilized in the ER and seamlessly transferred into a brand new, state-of-the-art cath lab. There, the interventional cardiologist was able to diagnose the blocked artery and perform a procedure to restore blood flow to the heart.
Gary Lai, D.O., chief of emergency medicine, said the timing could not have been better.
“It just so happens this gentleman made it onto our premises in the nick of time. In a very short period of time, he had his occluded artery opened up, and from there, it saved his life,” said Lai.
Molina was the first patient to receive treatment in their newly accredited ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) program, which treats the most severe of heart attacks with an angioplasty procedure if deemed appropriate.
Ashraf A. El-Shalakany, M.D., interventional cardiologist, who worked on Molina in January, is part of the highly experienced and knowledgeable cardiac team at Broward Health Coral Springs.
“Mr. Molina’s type of heart attack required immediate attention, and with our cardiac cath lab in place, we were able to race against time,” said Dr. El Shalakany. “By opening the blocked artery with a stent placement and reestablishing blood flow to his heart muscle, the outcome was life-saving.”
“There was a nurse named Cody who did not leave my side and was such a compassionate angel. I told her to please tell my wife and kids I loved them in case I did not make it,” said Molina.
He added Nurse Cody did an excellent job calming him down and encouraging him to stay focused on her during a seamless admission to the Level 1 Adult Cardiovascular Program.
Molina woke up in recovery within hours of having a near-fatal heart attack, surrounded by his family.
“I was so grateful to know I came to the right place; otherwise, I don’t know if I would be here today. I have been given another chance at life,” he told his medical team.
Since returning to his home in Coral Springs, Molina follows a strict regime of healthy eating and exercise as prescribed by his doctors at Broward Health Coral Springs.
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- Jen Russon is a freelance writer and English Language Arts teacher. She has published two novels to Amazon Kindle and lives in Coral Springs with her family.
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