Lakeland Health Care

Patient Stories

Celebrating Survivors

Aortic Valve Replacement & Pacemaker
Feature Story

Upon a sudden emergency to the doctor, I learned that I would need an aortic valve replacement, which was a complete surprise. Being that I rely on God to advise me as to direction on all-important decisions, I pursued various avenues of procedure. One valued friend said that the Cleveland Clinic was the only correct choice to make.

I was given a referral to a local surgeon for consultation and was still undecided. I sent all my test records to Cleveland, preparing my trip, mind made up.

In the interim, I had heard about the excellent reputation of Dr. Baghelai and continued my appointments with him, considering all my pros and cons. He made one statement that led me in the right direction. He told me that one very important factor was having family close to visit, as it related to the healing that needed to take place. That was the decision I was waiting for, as my family to make trips to Cleveland would have been a great hardship on them.

Dr. Baghelai was very complete in his explanation of what to expect and said I was a very good candidate for this type of surgery. I then made up my mind that I would enter Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph, and no better decision could have been made. The care I got there was exemplary. I was in ICU and PCU for 13 days, and each attendant was of good attitude, with always a smile no matter how early the hour.

Being that I was in critical condition, one of my three daughters requested to stay with me for numerous nights. The “angels” also gave her great consideration by furnishing her with a pillow, blankets and even guest trays for her meals while there. She also participated in their early rounds to keep apprised of what was transpiring. When she presented this request, they told her that they appreciated family taking such interest in the patient’s progress. I could not have made a better choice than Lakeland.

The rest of the story:
I came home for four weeks, but went downhill and had to be admitted again for another siege. I was at death’s door, and within five minutes there were five doctors on hand to tend to my needs. Dr. Hempel, the intensivist/critical care doctor, took me right in. Again my surgeon, Dr. Baghelai, made the decision that I would need a pacemaker inserted, which was done by Dr. Kuhnlein. This also was done with excellent consideration and care.

Seven weeks later I am home recuperating and doing very well, gaining strength each and every day. People, I advise readers to take advantage of Lakeland under the care of excellent surgeons and the angels who work there, who put your comfort and best interest first and foremost.

Ethel Daggitt

(Source: The Herald Palladium; November 9, 2013)

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    Lakeland Medical Center, St. Joseph  
    Lakeland Hospital, Niles  
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