14:17 PM

LVHN Cardiac Expertise Helps Retiree Beat the Odds on “Widow Maker” Heart Attack

For 20 years, John Loguercio faced danger as a New York City detective. In retirement, he figured that living home in Milford, Pa., was far less risky than working in the Big Apple.

But as it turned out, June 6 proved more dangerous than anything he faced in law enforcement.

“I had lunch and got a pain in the middle of my chest,” Loguercio remembers. “I thought it was heartburn.’”

Before long, however, Loguercio knew he was in trouble: “The pain went from the middle of my chest to the back. And I knew I was having a heart attack. I told my wife, ‘You’d better call 911.’”

The ambulance arrived to find a worsening Loguercio. Treatment began immediately, and the emergency responders recommended transport to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono. To expedite the 32-mile commute, they flew him by helicopter, a ride Loguercio has no memory of.

LVH-Pocono prepped for the arrival. Cardiologist Dr. Gordon Fried was en route.

“I was there before the helicopter,” Fried states. “As soon as it landed, they brought him straight into the ER. We verified that the EKG was truly abnormal. Then we took him to the catherization lab.”

Loguercio had a critical blockage in the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery. LAD blockages are destructive interruptions in blood flow that result in a “widow maker,” a heart attack so devastating that survival rates hover around 1-2 percent.

With the LAD blockage cleared, Loguercio received a stent – a small wire designed to keep the artery open and facilitate blood flow.

“He had nice results,” Fried summarizes. “He went home two days later… just a lucky guy.”

Loguercio agrees: “I’ve always had a guardian angel; he was working overtime for me.”

For more information on cardiac care, visit the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute at LVHN.org/heartcare or call 888-402-LVHN.