Bob was placed on the transplant list the Tuesday before Thanksgiving with his wife Patti by his side. They remember the moment that their nurse, Mia, came to tell them that a heart was available. At first, a feeling of disbelief ran through them, but that was quickly followed by reserved excitement. High-fiving friends as he headed down to surgery, Bob was ready for what was ahead: a long road to recovery, but a road leading to a newfound life.
|Bob and his wife Patti visit the hospital room where Bob was told his new heart was ready for transplant.|
Not only did the nursing staff take care of his physical ailments, but they also educated, encouraged, and in many ways, became a constant in Bob's life. Friendly faces such as Rachael Cress and Stephanie Barlow, nurses on the Silverstein 10 floor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania , will forever be engrained in Bob's memory. As Bob says, "Their care from the moment I woke up and throughout my days in the hospital was more than just clinical. They were prepared for the journey that a transplant patient was on, they had done this before. The education they provided, their encouragement, knowledge and passion is something I will take with me."
|Stephanie Barlow and Rachael Cress – Penn nurses who cared for Bob after his heart transplant.|
What goes into our bodies makes a difference, especially in transplant patients.After discharge from the hospital Bob was having trouble gaining weight. He had become a diabetic secondary to the steroid treatments needed during heart failure. Enter registered dietician Kathleen King. Her knowledge of this subset of patients was crucial in Bob's recovery. A personalized plan was put together and Bob was able to gain weight and energy.
|Bob with heart transplant nurse practitioner Mieke Maslanek and patient services coordinator Ashley Wetherell.|
A heart transplant patient receives care from over 20 different disciplines while in the hospital.
|Bob with cardiac electrophysiologist |
David Callans, MD
Continuity of Care is ImportantThroughout Bob's journey, he never felt alone. There were people with him at every turn to offer guidance, support and wisdom.
Nearly one year later, Bob continues to have follow-up appointments with physicians Dr. David Callans, Dr. Lee Goldberg and Dr. Jessica Dine, and Mieke is always available when a question arises or to coordinate care.
They were with him in the beginning and continue to be there every step of the way.