Sunday, July 04, 2004

Lifted from USA Today and Kevin MD.
Steve Woodle lay back in his hospital bed, trying desperately to catch his breath. The doctor, now a patient in his own hospital, began a struggle that comes with many life-and-death battles: He began to wrestle with his own fear.
Woodle, one of the nation's top transplant surgeons, had just received a liver transplant himself six days before. His recovery was going well until, while bending over to put on his pants, he felt something literally take his breath away.

His training and experience told him it could be only one thing: a blood clot blocking an artery to his lungs. And "a pretty big one" at that. But it was the patient in the man, not the doctor, who struggled to grasp the deadly consequences.

At first, he spent a few moments in full-blown denial. This can't be happening, he thought. "I sat there for a few minutes, seeing if it would go away," Woodle says. It did not.

Dr. Woodle, as do many physicians, gains new perspective on life after his experience. What caught my eye was this:
Cardiologist Daniel Snavely rushed to the cath lab. When he walked in, Edwards said: "This is one of my best friends, Snavely. Don't let him die."

Snavely shocked Woodle with a defibrillator, restoring a heartbeat. With Woodle's heart stabilized, Edwards put the catheter into the clot. He squirted a clot-dissolving drug directly into the mass. Woodle was wheeled to the intensive care unit, and all the team could do was wait.

I knew Dr. Snavely as a resident. Glad to see he is doing well.
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