Unstoppable Heart (Care)

Fifty-seven year old Ricky Millette of Tinton Falls, NJ (shown with his wife Colleen and children Hannah and Ava) has been part of the Deborah Heart and Lung family since a second opinion for chest pains and possible blockages in his arteries brought him to the Hospital a few years ago. Although he had been thoroughly checked out by another cardiologist, it wasn’t until the Deborah team reviewed his films that an emergency situation was uncovered.

“I got a call from Dr. Burns (Paul Burns, MD, Deborah’s Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery) that I had a blockage that couldn’t wait. It’s called the ‘widow maker’ and can cause a deadly heart attack.”

Ricky had successful double-bypass surgery, and has always been thankful that he went for the second opinion that saved his life.

As a loyal patient, Ricky has kept up with his heart appointments, including checking his carotid artery every six months, per Dr. Burn’s recommendation post open heart surgery.

Colleen said that even during COVID-19, Ricky had to go for his check-up.

“We came to Deborah,” she recalled “and it couldn’t have been better. We sat away from others, and followed all the procedures that the staff asked us to do. I felt very safe, and more importantly Ricky’s check-up was good.”

For Colleen — who is working hard now homeschooling their children — the “thumbs up” results are what matters.

“I need Ricky to be here for me and the kids. Keeping up with his heart care is really important.”

Tara Hankins, Vice President of Surgical Services at Deborah agreed. “We really don’t want patients postponing their care, especially if someone could have a serious, undetected medical condition.”

Colleen’s on the same page. She urges everyone to go to their doctors. “Keep up with your appointments! Heart disease will kill you, it will not ‘just pass’. The virus will eventually pass. Even if you feel healthy, heart disease can happen at any age and with no symptoms.”

Click here to learn how Deborah is keeping you safe.