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
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
“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.