Scottsdale Healthcare Video Library


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Heart Surgery Patient Reunion
Heart Surgery Patient Reunion
The Galleria of Fine Hearts is a reunion of open heart patients with Scottsdale Healthcare surgeons and hospital staff, presented by Scottsdale Healthcare Heart and Vascular Services. It is a poignant, emotional and fun event. Patients, doctors and hospital staff visit with each other without the stress of the life-changing events that brought them together in the first place. The Scottsdale Healthcare Galleria of Fine Hearts is not only a way to say "thank you" to our patients for entrusting us with their care, it is especially rewarding for hospital staff to see them happy and healthy. In this video, you'll meet four special patients who tell their stories: Bill Schmidt, who among other things has performed as a comedian, had a defective aortic valve that led to an aneurysm requiring surgery to avoid a ruptured aorta and virtually instant death. Bill's extensive nationwide search for a surgeon ended with Robert Riley, MD, who replaced his bicuspid aortic valve with a valve from a pig heart. Dr. Riley also replaced Bill's ascending aorta and aortic root. Ahwatukee resident Karen Graf didn't want heart surgery to keep her from her passions—raising her children and teaching the students at her school. A routine checkup to the discovery of a tumor on her heart's mitral valve. Using a minimally invasive approach, Rajeev Kathuria, MD removed the tumor through an incision less than 2 inches long. Scottsdale Healthcare's dedicated nurses also helped speed Karen's recovery, making sure she did the walking and deep breathing necessary after surgery to prevent complications. Najeba Gorges had recently settled in Phoenix and life was good until she began to feel pressure and tightness in her chest. She was referred to Scottsdale Healthcare cardiologist Walid Alami, MD, who discovered three completely blocked arteries in her heart. Just five months after arriving in America, Najeba underwent a life-saving operation performed without any complications by Scottsdale Healthcare cardiac surgeon Kenneth Ashton, MD. Phoenix firefighter Michael Glennie was walking home from work when without any warning, he suffered a massive heart attack. Paramedics resuscitated him three times before a pulse was found. In a coma, he was taken to Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center where a cooling catheter was placed for therapeutic hypothermia to save heart muscle. Dr. Joseph Klag then implanted an Impella heart assist device in the cardiac catheterization lab to help the heart pump more efficiently. Dr. Michael Caskey then performed a quintuple coronary bypass surgery. Incredibly, Mike went home 12 days later. For more information about Heart and Vascular Services at Scottsdale Healthcare, visit