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A 7:30 a.m. Wake-up Call Saves a Life

Peg Hambrecht’s phone rang first thing on a Tuesday morning. She hadn’t been feeling right, and the call confirmed it.

It was Deborah Heart and Lung Center’s remote pacemaker monitoring team telling her to get to the hospital immediately. The automatic overnight remote check on her device had a red alert. She was in atrial flutter.

Peg Hambrecht 1
Peg Hambrecht with Sierra Fabiani, PCT

“I was told to get to the hospital triage ASAP,” she recalls. “The top of my heart was like a butterfly and quivering, not able to send the message off to pump my blood properly so there was a lack of oxygen plus possible clots. I was at risk of having a stroke, heart attack, or pulmonary embolism.”

She was rushed into a successful atrial ablation.

This was not Peg’s first brush with a serious heart problem, since she had two complex congenital heart repairs in Philadelphia as a young child for tetralogy of fallot. After her successful heart repair she grew up and moved out west to enjoy the California sun. At 23, however, her heart once again needed serious attention.

“I saw a cardiologist and he told me I needed another open heart surgery. I didn’t know what to do. Because of my pre-existing condition, at that time I wasn’t able to get health insurance.”

Peg, who deeply believes in service to the community, had previously supported Deborah because of its life-saving charitable mission. So she came back east to Deborah where she received life-saving surgery again – two catheterizations and an open heart procedure.

And so began Peg’s life-long relationship with the hospital, which over the years has included multiple pacemakers. The call from the hospital in early August was one more medical miracle for her.

“I am so appreciative to Deborah for saving my life again!!!”

The trim 65-year old retired nurse from Bristol, PA, puts Deborah right up there with all her and her husband Walt’s other charitable service groups.

“I sew for cancer patients, serve the homeless, and was a senior youth leader at my church. In fact when my husband and I remarried after 25 years, our youth group was part of the wedding.”

“But even more important to me, I encourage everyone I know to donate to the Deborah Hospital Foundation. Their charitable mission saved my life when I was 23 years old and had nowhere else to go. I am also remembering Deborah in my will and encourage everyone to think of doing so.”

“That life-saving surgery 42 years ago allowed me to live a full life, be a nurse, travel to Hawaii eleven times, marry my wonderful husband Walt, and allow me to keep giving back to my community.

“And now Deborah did it again. My early morning wake-up call once again probably saved my life. I am so thankful and know that I trust my life with the very best medical team.”

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