Sutter Women's Services
John - From Doctor to Patient
A retired orthopedic surgeon, John remembers helping his daughter study anatomy when she was in nursing school. Today, his daughter, Stephanie Baroni, is a cardiac nurse – a career choice that played a hand in saving her dad's life.
"I was visiting Stephanie one weekend in January," says John. "We were watching my grandson play basketball. During the game, I told my wife that I didn't feel well. Apparently, I collapsed as I was telling her that."
Stephanie recognized his symptoms as potential cardiac arrest and immediately began CPR to get his heart pumping again. "I remember being helped to my feet and walking across the floor to the nearest exit," John recalls. "I actually felt OK once I was outside, but my daughter insisted I get into the ambulance which was already waiting for me."
During the ride to the hospital, John felt his symptoms returning. "By then I was hooked up to the EKG machine, which recorded my cardiac arrest. I remember fading out as they were cutting off my shirt. The EMT shocked my heart into beating regularly, and I regained awareness," he says. "I remember arriving at Sutter Roseville Medical Center and meeting the on-call physician, probably because she was wearing red cowboy boots," he laughs. "She told me I would likely end up with a pacemaker. She was right."
Sutter Roseville cardiologist George Fehrenbacher, MD, FACC, implemented a pacemaker into John's heart later that day. "I was impressed with Dr. Fehrenbacher," says John. "And with everyone else at Sutter Roseville. As a retired surgeon and Navy officer, I know a thing or two about critical care situations – so I'm grateful the EMTs took me to hospital that operates like a well-oiled machine."
After two days in the hospital, John was discharged. "It turns out my heart simply had an electric abnormality – there was no resulting damage, nor pre-existing condition. I suppose after more than 75 years of beating, my heart turned a little quirky," he says. "But I feel as good as ever today, thanks to my daughter and the cardiac team at Sutter Roseville."
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