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The Institute for Patient Blood Management and Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Englewood Hospital
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Patient Stories

Emogene Belton Story



During an annual checkup in late 2008, Emogene’s primary care physician made a startling discovery: An echocardiogram screening of Emogene’s heart revealed that her aortic valve— which should be about the diameter of a quarter—had narrowed considerably and was limiting the fl ow of oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of her body. Emogene’s doctor determined that surgery to replace the deteriorated valve was necessary.

“When I found out about the condition of my heart valve, I was completely surprised,” says Emogene. “I hadn’t shown any symptoms of a heart problem. No shortness of breath, no chest pains—nothing that would indicate such a serious problem.”

Because blood transfusions aren’t an option for Emogene, she immediately began an in-depth search to find a facility that would offer the surgical expertise and bloodless technology she demanded for her procedure. She researched for almost two months—hoping to fi nd the right hospital—before deciding on Englewood Hospital. Emogene was thrilled when she learned that not only would physicians affi liated with The Institute be able to perform her surgery with bloodless techniques, but also that the hospital had the best cardiac outcomes in New Jersey.

Comprehensive Care and Healing

After being admitted to Englewood Hospital in May 2009, Emogene underwent open-heart surgery performed by James J. Klein, MD. Dr. Klein, a cardiac surgeon who works closely with The Institute, was able to respect Emogene’s wishes and perform the procedure without a blood transfusion. Emogene’s surgery was a tremendous success, and she returned to her normal daily activities within days of her operation.

“Throughout my recovery, I experienced very little discomfort and pain,” adds Emogene. “Within four days of my operation, I was at a family picnic in Pennsylvania—my doctors and nurses were amazed.”

Thanks to the community of care at The Institute, Emogene was able to undergo a serious procedure knowing she was in the hands of capable physicians and nurses who fully respected her bloodless wishes.

“My valve procedure was my first surgery,” explains Emogene. “I was initially uneasy about undergoing such a major operation, but the attention from my doctors and nurses put me at ease and helped encourage the healing process.