Lucy Tine, 74, from Wethersfield is very grateful this Thanksgiving season.
The vacation will mark just over a month since her successful open heart surgery at UConn John Dempsey Hospital, restoring proper blood flow to her heart from several dangerously blocked arteries.
“I am overflowing with gratitude,” Tine says. “It couldn’t be better timing. Although I missed enjoying my favorite Halloween vacation this year, I am now ready for Thanksgiving, and even Christmas, with my family, thanks to UConn Health, my doctor and his nurse.
She said, “They are miracle workers. My heart is 20 years younger!
On October 19 at UConn Health, Tine underwent open heart bypass surgery (CABG) performed by the new chief of cardiothoracic surgery, Dr Chittoor Bhaskar Sai Sudhakar, and his team. A cardiac stress test and diagnostic angiogram revealed Tine’s severely blocked arteries, putting her at high risk for a fatal heart attack, with open heart surgery being her best option for survival.
“I never thought that would happen to me. I’ve always been so healthy, ”says Tine, who loves to dance. “I am a 74 year old, very active and athletic.
But Tine reports that she has a strong family history of heart disease on her father’s side, with several parents needing similar surgeries to replace their heart arteries.
Recently, Tine started to notice that something just wasn’t the same with her body. For example, as she walked upstairs to her classroom to pursue her third college degree, she began to feel something strange and different in her neck and chest, which forced her to stop and take a break. Plus, as she was dancing with her boyfriend, she suddenly started to feel the same weird feeling again. She knew then that she had to call her GP for follow-up.
“Once I struggled with my cardiac stress test, I knew it wouldn’t be good news,” Tine says. “I was amazed to learn that I had severe blockages and needed open heart surgery. “
But after her heart surgery and her six-day stay at UConn John Dempsey Hospital, she is a very grateful patient.
“I am a very happy camper. I had a great recovery – and had no pain – even with open heart surgery that opened my chest. “
She adds, “Now my surgery and recovery are complete – and I feel great! I now have a lot of plans for this holiday season.
“Dr. Sai Sudhakar saved my life by mending my heart,” Tine says. “If he hadn’t mended my heart, I probably would have had a fatal heart attack and I wouldn’t be here for Thanksgiving. “
She adds: “He’s an excellent doctor. God gave Dr Sai Sudhakar his hands to work on my heart. I would recommend it to the world. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give UConn Health a 10. Also, its Dorota Pawlak APRN is the best.
Her message to others this holiday season is that no matter how well you think you are, always listen to your body.
“If anyone thinks they have a problem with their body or especially their heart, be sure to go see your doctor,” says Tine. “I thank Dr Sai Sudhakar and God for my new and improved heart.”
Tine adds, “I’m so happy to be here for the holidays, but this Thanksgiving I’m not cooking. We are going to eat outside!