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CornerStone Vol. 26, No.1, Spring/Summer 2016
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Front page...

A Second Miracle for Allison
Revolutionary Heart Procedure Provides New Treatment for Sufferers of Aortic Valve Stenosis
WATCHMAN: A New Treatment Option for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation
Lifesaving Procedure and Wedding Bells for Patient with Rare Heart Condition
New, State-of-the-Art Trauma Center Opens
Committed to the Fight against Obesity
Empowered to Educate: Women with Heart Disease Fight Back
American Heart Association Awards Grant-in-Aid to NYU Winthrop Researchers
Diabetes Prevention Program: Motivating Local Residents to Change Their Lives
24th Annual Gala Raises More than $1,000,000
Celebrating Service and Philanthropy: Special Room Dedication Held for Esteemed Physician
Getting into the Spirit at NYU Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids
Annual Golf Outing Benefits the CCFK
Bo Jackson Brings Special Memories
Gregg’s Wings Foundation Continues Support
CCFK Patients Rock at Seventh Annual Rock2Beat Pediatric Cancer
Local Kiwanis Club Continues Longtime Support
CCFK Crosses the Finish Line
A Cause to Celebrate Raises Nearly $115,000 for Child Life Program
Good for the Brain: Unique Art Expressions Group Brings Patients and Caregivers Together
A Family Tradition of Philanthropy
Unique Toilet Training Program Helps Youngsters ‘Go’
New Mural Brightens Walls and Lifts Spirits
New Chiropractic Collaboration Provides Coordinated Care for Patients
NYU Winthrop Nurses Earn Prestigious Magnet Recognition
New Member Elected to NYU Winthrop’s Board of Directors
New Electronic Medical Record Set to Go Live This Summer
Raising the Bar for Care with National Recognitions
Yuletide Ball Raises $207,000 for Child Life Program
A Bite of Hope for Pediatric Diabetes Patients
Celebrating a 23-Year Partnership
Amanda Styles Cirelli Foundation Supports NYU Winthrop’s Cancer Center for Kids
Floreine J. NYU Winthrop’s Memory Honored with Tranquil Garden
Senator Martins Spreads Cheer Among Young Patients
Preventing Heat-Related Illness
NYU Winthrop Researchers Advocate for 9/11 First Responders Suffering from Debilitating Neurological Condition
A Special Evening of Tasting and Giving Supports Pediatric Patients
 

Lifesaving Procedure and Wedding Bells for Patient with Rare Heart Condition

Jennifer Hearst and her fiance´, Michael MotazediJennifer Hearst and her fiance´, Michael Motazedi, are looking forward to their destination wedding this summer.

When 30-year-old Woodmere resident Jennifer Hearst was ready to think about planning for a family, she knew it was time to make an important medical decision. Ms. Hearst was born with a rare congenital aortic abnormality called middle aortic syndrome, which involves a severe narrowing of the thoracic and abdominal aorta, causing hypertension and walking problems from lack of blood flow to the abdomen and legs. Without surgery, many patients with this condition do not survive past the age of 40.

“For a long time I put off surgery,” said Ms. Hearst. “When I was younger, the issue was that if I had this surgery, they would have to go back in and redo what they did after puberty. I was largely asymptomatic and did not have a lot of issues other than high blood pressure, which was controlled by medication. So we put it off for a while and just monitored the condition. But I knew I had to do some- thing eventually; it was a matter of when.”

Though Ms. Hearst has been largely asymptomatic for much of her life, during the past couple of years she has experienced dizziness and numbness in her legs, in addi- tion to high blood pressure. But it wasn’t until she became engaged and her thoughts turned to planning for a family that she found she was ready for more serious medical intervention.

Ms. Hearst’s obstetrician referred her to NYU Winthrop’s perinatal department for family planning, and experts there directed her to NYU Winthrop’s Khaled F. Salhab, MD, a cardio- thoracic surgeon with aortic training. Upon evaluation, Dr. Salhab determined that sur- gery would be necessary to improve the blood flow in Ms. Hearst’s body, thus alleviating her symptoms and increasing her chances of a healthy pregnancy down the road.

“It was time,” said Dr. Salhab. “With her wedding planned for this summer, Ms. Hearst was thinking about starting a family. We’ve given her the best chance possible for this and will continue to monitor her.”

Early this year, Dr. Salhab and his vascular colleagues performed a complex aortic bypass on Ms. Hearst. In conducting a bypass, surgeons place artificial tubes, or grafts, near a section of the blood vessel that is blocked or narrowed, creating a path so that blood can move around the blockage.

“We bypass the entire narrowed part of the aorta – the main artery of the body which supplies oxy- genated blood to the circulatory system – to provide blood flow beyond the narrowing, like a bridge,” explained Dr. Salhab. “In the right hands, when done correctly, prognosis is very good.”

This condition is very rare with less than 200 cases reported in the world, according to Dr. Salhab, who says that the surgery is very challenging and requires meticulous planning and technique. Usually, the surgery requires a large thoracoabdominal incision; however, Ms. Hearst’s surgery was done through two small incisions – one in the chest and one in the abdomen – that were minimally invasive to reduce scarring.

Today, Ms. Hearst is symptom-free. She credits the team approach at NYU Winthrop with prompting her to undergo the lifesaving surgery she needed. Ms. Hearst also credits her parents, Ilene and Rod Hearst, for being her “biggest advocates, going to every doctor’s appointment and ensuring they were always there.”

“I didn’t come to NYU Winthrop looking for a cardiologist,” said Ms. Hearst. “I never experienced this at other institutions – providers getting together to make a plan and consult instead of just having one doctor make a decision. They all came together and made a plan with my health and well- being in mind, and that’s what made me the most comfortable. It wasn’t just one person sitting in a room. It was multiple people making a decision for the long-term, not just the here and now.”

Ms. Hearst is now looking forward to her July 2 destination wedding in the Dominican Republic, and a future made even brighter with the help of NYU Winthrop’s dedicated team of specialists.