Stroke Survivor Reunites With Responders, Care Team Who Saved Her Life

Stroke survivor Margaret Kalfas and first responders

Margaret Kalfas laughs with the first responders who helped save her life three months ago by getting her to the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest.

A 911 call by a stranger and quick action by the Whitehall Township police officers who responded saved Margaret Kalfas, 83, from likely disability or death when she suffered a life-threatening stroke in February. On Friday, she thanked them.

Another motorist called 911 when Kalfas stopped her car amid traffic on MacArthur Road that Saturday afternoon three months ago. Police officers Paul Barnes, Quadir Carter and Jeffrey Coleman responded and suspected a stroke when they observed her disorientation, so they took her car keys and called for an ambulance. The Cetronia Ambulance crew notified Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest – the region’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center – that a stroke patient was on her way and rushed her to the ER.

Within 90 minutes of the incident on the road, Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) neurointerventional radiologist Darryn Shaff, MD, removed a clot from Kalfas’ carotid artery to end the near-fatal brain attack. After five days recovering at LVH–Cedar Crest, then several weeks in a rehab facility, her life has nearly returned to normal.

On Friday, the wife and mother of three met the first responders and ER and stroke teams who treated her. “I wanted to thank everyone for what they did to save my life,” says Kalfas, who hopes to be driving again soon. Read More »

Gear Up Academy at LVHN-One City Center Will Put Allentown Kids on Bikes

Marty Nothstein

Marty Nothstein, who won an Olympic gold medal in sprint cycling at the 2000 Games in Sydney, Australia, was born and raised in Allentown.

What do you get when you combine Allentown youth; a community partnership; an indoor, conveniently located fitness facility; state-of-the-art equipment; and passionate, experienced coaches? It’s called Gear Up Academy, and one of its founders calls it a game-changer.

The goal of the free developmental program is to use cycling to encourage city youth ages 8 to 18 to want to set and reach goals and live a healthy lifestyle. Valley Preferred Cycling Center (VPCC) and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) will launch Gear Up Academy in July at LVHN-One City Center.

Marty Nothstein, VPCC executive director, is a professional Olympic cyclist who got his start in a developmental program at Air Products. He’s one of the coaches who will mentor the children, who will ride the same stationary Wattbikes that national cycling teams use for indoor training.

Learn more in this column by The Morning Call’s Gary Blockus.


MedEvac Facts: Learn Helicopter’s Speed, Fuel Consumption and More

MedEvac Hazleton

MedEvac sits on the helipad outside Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton.

When the whirring of a helicopter’s rotor blades cuts through the air overhead, necks crane skyward. Whether or not you’re a helicopter enthusiast, there’s something intriguing about watching MedEvac fly.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN)-MedEvac provides air and ground transportation for critically ill and injured patients in northeast Pennsylvania.

Did you know MedEvac’s average cruising speed is 120 miles per hour, and the helicopter uses a gallon of fuel per minute? Read More »

Sports Cardiology Program Helps Athletes Identify, Manage Heart Conditions

Matthew Martinez, MD

Matthew Martinez, MD
Watch a video to learn more about him.

Reports of young athletes dying suddenly due to heart failure can be shocking. A program at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) aims to prevent an unexpected heart problem from becoming fatal.

LVHN cardiologist Matthew Martinez, MD, with LVPG Cardiology, heads the network’s sports cardiology program that evaluates and tests athletes with symptoms of heart disease. It also provides consultation on nutrition and training to help those athletes stay active.

A report that published on the front page of Sunday’s Express-Times and on cites the sports cardiology program as one way better awareness is improving players’ safety. Providing defibrillators at school and training staff on how to use them is another way. Read More »

Transplant Surgeon Explains Donating, Receiving Kidneys on Sam Lesante Show – VIDEO

The average wait time for a kidney transplant is four years in Pennsylvania, unless a living donor offers his or her kidney to a specific recipient – then the beneficiary need not wait in line.

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) transplant surgeon Michael Moritz, MD, shares facts like these as he explains the process, criteria and statistics about kidney donation during an interview on the Sam Lesante Show, being broadcast now on SSPTV and available online. Watch it here.

The team at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest performs kidney transplants for people on dialysis or progressing toward the need for dialysis, and also performs pancreas transplants for people with type 1 diabetes. Recipients can receive organs from deceased or living donors. Both the donor and recipient must meet nationally established criteria and compatibility measures.

“Our focus [is] on transplanting as many patients as possible. We consider ourselves to be very liberal in donor selection and recipient selection,” Moritz says. “We’re looking for people who can benefit.” Read More »