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Joseph Klimko

Joseph KlimkoJoseph Klimko's Heart Beats Strong for Family

It was a happy time, driving his daughter back to Brooklyn from Pittsburgh. Joseph Klimko, 62, was thrilled to spend that time with her and to arrive in Brooklyn to see his grandchildren graduate from their schools. But when he woke up on graduation morning and felt familiar pains in his jaw, neck and right arm, he knew he wasn't going to make the graduation ceremonies.

He needed to get to a hospital fast.

Six years earlier, he had experienced the same set of pains and wound up undergoing a cardiac catheterization and angioplasty. He was sure that his heart was in trouble again, yet because his symptoms were atypical and heart issues don't usually present in the jaw, he was worried that the concerns about his heart would be dismissed.

When he arrived at New York Methodist Hospital, he realized that he had nothing to worry about. " What impressed me most was that they listened. I told them about my concerns about my heart and they listened to what I was saying rather than just following a prescribed list of symptoms," says Mr. Klimko.

While in the Emergency Department, Mr. Klimko was evaluated by cardiologist Hajir Dilmanian, M.D "Here was a man who had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Because of his previous heart history, I knew that we needed to get his cardiac health evaluated immediately," Dr. Dilmanian recalls.

"I remember Dr. Dilmanian reading my test results and telling me, 'let's go'. He had personally walked me up to the New York Methodist-Cornell Heart Center EKG/Stress Test lab where testing started right away. Then he walked me to meet with Terrence Sacchi, M.D., chief of cardiology, and arranged for the cardiac catheterization",
Mr. Klimko says.

"The catheterization showed that there were significant blockages in a number of Mr. Klimkos arteries. It was clear that he needed immediate attention" remembers Dr. Sacchi, "and we made sure that it happened."

"By that evening, I was in the cardiac catheterization laboratory room with Dr. Sacchi, getting my first set of stents, which open up blood flow in the arteries. I have never experienced such personal and dedicated service," recounts Mr. Klimko.

The following Monday, Dr. Sacchi inserted another set of stents, and shortly thereafter, Mr. Klimko was discharged.

He is now back in Pittsburgh and his health is being monitored by doctors there. But he knows that it is the doctors in Brooklyn who saved his life. "I was amazed at how quickly I was evaluated and treated. Such quick responsiveness is rare. Dr. Sacchi and Dr. Dilmanian provided me with top notch medical care; and the nurses were amazing.

My whole experience at New York Methodist Hospital was terrific from the Emergency Department to interventional cardiology to the nursing staff. Everyone was courteous and professional. The doctors were a very good team; I just can't say enough."

Read more about Joseph Klimko in the 2009 NYM Annual Report.