St. John Medical Center teamwork results in celebration of life

Westlake resident Amanda Van Schoor, third from left, credits her caregiving team at St. John Medical Center for saving her life after a cardiac arrest. Pictured with Amanda are Dana Ingraham, SJMC Abiomed representative; and SJMC cardiologists Naim Farhat, MD, and Atul Hulyalkar, MD. Photo courtesy St. John Medical Center

The results of teamwork and technology were clearly evidenced recently at St. John Medical Center when Westlake resident Amanda Van Schoor, 36, thanked her family and caregivers for saving her life after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Amanda’s life was celebrated at St. John Medical Center by her caregivers and Abiomed, makers of a miniature pump that can be threaded through an artery and placed inside the heart to help critically ill heart attack and heart failure patients by assisting the heart's main pumping chamber to drive blood through the body.

Last Feb. 7, Amanda’s husband, Nick, had found his unresponsive wife on the floor, called 911 and followed the dispatcher’s instructions to provide CPR. Westlake EMS responded quickly and delivered Amanda to the SJMC Emergency Room, where caregivers found blood flow to Amanda’s brain and other vital organs were being compromised.

Within an hour, SJMC interventional cardiologist Naim Farhart, MD, and his team at SJMC inserted the Impella pump through a vein and into Amanda’s heart. She was life-flighted to University Hospitals, where the Impella pumped blood to her vital organs for nine days until Amanda’s heart recovered enough that it could pump on its own.

“We have a great team at SJMC,” said Atul Hulyalkar, MD, Amanda’s St. John Medical Center cardiologist. While stressing the importance of immediate action and effective communication among the team of first responders and caregivers, Dr. Hulyalkar also acknowledged the incredible family support that Amanda received throughout her ordeal. He attributed the extraordinary support and involvement of family members as "making all the difference" in her successful recovery.

Recognizing how everyone involved worked together in partnership on Amanda's behalf, Bill Young, President and CEO of St. John Medical Center, stated, "This is how we can truly make a difference for the people that we serve in our community."

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:05 AM, 09.15.2015