"I owe my life to Beth Israel Medical Center. In October of 2011, I left my apartment for my daily, 100-block walk but something didn’t feel right. I simply couldn’t catch my breath. I remember staggering across the street and slumping onto a bench. Somehow, I managed to make it back to my apartment to call 911 and asked the ambulance to take me to Beth Israel, my neighborhood hospital. As the doctor in the emergency room began to evaluate me, my body started to shut down. I am told that my lungs collapsed, my heart failed, my kidneys stopped working and doctors suspected that I was bleeding internally. Quickly thereafter, I was in what they call “Code Blue,” in need of immediate resuscitation. At this point, the amazing ER staff had kept me alive, but they needed to get to the root of the problem so they called Dr. Charles Geller, an outstanding heart surgeon who happened to be on duty that day.
Through a series of diagnostic tests, it was determined that one of my heart valves was leaking quite badly. My vital organs were being deprived of oxygen and my lungs had become infected. Dr. Geller determined that I needed a valve replacement, but first I had to be stabilized in order to be able to withstand the surgery. I was admitted to the hospital and somehow, they got my organs stabilized, treated the lung infection and scheduled my valve replacement surgery. This incredible team brought me back to life. I don’t remember much, but Dr. Geller calls me his “Miracle Man.”