Penn Heart and Vascular

Penn Heart and Vascular Update

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

How Advanced Heart Failure Treatment Saved This Doctor’s Life

Dr. Ali Zadeh, a Penn Medicine heart failure patient,
and his son John at the Penn Heart and Vascular Center at
the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

"Everyone should know about this place."

When retired thoracic surgeon Ali Zadeh, MD, came to Penn for heart failure treatment, he was simply looking for comfort. “I couldn’t sleep,” says Dr. Zadeh. “As soon as I closed my eyes, I would develop shortness of breath.”

His heart failure had been getting progressively worse for six years. He had been treated at several different hospitals. Then in 2011, he was referred to Penn. “I didn’t know anything about Penn,” confesses Dr. Zadeh. “But then I found out that they are very, very good!”

A cutting-edge heart failure treatment

On his first visit to Penn, Dr. Zadeh met J. Eduardo Rame, MD, a cardiologist specializing in heart failure and Michael Acker, MD, chief of cardiovascular surgery. “I told Dr. Rame that I just wanted comfort,” Dr. Zadeh recalls. “He said: ‘Don’t worry, you are about to get it.’”

Soon after, Dr. Zadeh received a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), an implantable device to help his heart to pump. As he recovered from his surgery, his shortness of breath improved. He was able to enjoy most normal activities of daily life. And best of all, he was able to sleep once again.

“Nothing was better than that!” says Dr. Zadeh. “I am extremely grateful to Penn. My doctors are wonderful, great people. They were with me and my family every day. I call Dr. Acker my golden hand surgeon. He has a hand of gold.”

Spreading the word about Penn

Dr. Zadeh and his family were so overwhelmed by the care they received at Penn that his son, John, began working on a documentary film to spread the word (posted below).
“John was always at my side when I would close my eyes but couldn’t sleep,” says Dr. Zadeh. “He knows how bad I was before my surgery and how much better I am now. That’s why he is doing the film. Everyone should know about this place. This should be for everybody.”

Dr. Zadeh now travels through much of the U.S., spending time with his eight children and 12 grandchildren. 

Learn more about Penn's Heart Failure Program.



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