09:41 AM

Heading off a Heart Attack

Timely testing and treatment at Lehigh Valley Heart Institute at the Health & Wellness Center at Hazleton return Joseph Carrelli to a healthier path

After a tough day at work, Joseph Carrelli, 61, felt a throbbing in his temples. Just to be safe, he took his blood pressure with his home monitor and found it was high. Nothing much to worry about, he thought. But when he told his wife, Joan, a cardiac nurse at the Health & Wellness Center at Hazleton, her response was firm: He needed an electrocardiogram (ECG).

Testing reveals blockages

The next day, he headed to the Health & Wellness Center. His ECG was normal, but during a follow-up stress test, Carrelli stayed on the treadmill for only five minutes before his pressure shot up again. The following week, a cardiac catheterization at Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest revealed major blockages in two arteries that would require openheart bypass surgery.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Carrelli says. “I don’t smoke. I take cholesterol and blood pressure medication. I exercise and just lost 20 pounds. Never had any problems with my heart – but this still happened to me.”

Three weeks after his March 2018 bypass surgery at LVH–Cedar Crest, Carrelli was back at the Health & Wellness Center for cardiac rehabilitation. He’s been progressing rapidly as he exercises in the supportive, medically supervised group setting, and he’s looking forward to getting back to work.

Care where and when you need it

The Health & Wellness Center at Hazleton and LVH–Cedar Crest are both part of Lehigh Valley Heart Institute, which draws on a multidisciplinary group of experts across Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) to provide comprehensive and coordinated cardiac diagnosis, treatment and prevention services.

“Patients can access Lehigh Valley Heart Institute services at a location that’s convenient for them,” says Barbara Hunsinger, RN, Director of Cardiac Services at Hazleton. “They can be assured that they’ll have the resources of the entire LVHN team behind them and receive high-quality, coordinated care for their unique needs.”

Carrelli is determined to resume his previous healthy habits while adding new ones, like changing his diet. “I’m feeling really good these days,” he says. “I’m so thankful that my wife insisted that I get checked out. She, along with the experts at the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute, saved my life."

After a heart attack, Lehigh Valley Heart Institute can help. Visit LVHN.org/heartinstitute or call 888-402-LVHN (5846).