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A Daughter's Experience: Debbie's Story

January 06, 2022

When Debbie’s mom, Vyvyan, asked her to take her to the hospital for her heart, Debbie chose her mother’s favorite hospital, St. Luke's. After suffering a heart attack, Dr. Ron Leidenfrost, a cardiothoracic heart surgeon with St. Luke’s Heart and Vascular Institute, performed open heart surgery.

After performing surgery for 14 hours, it was clear there had been extensive damage.

“That just told me that he didn’t want to give up. When he went in, her heart was in pretty bad condition,” said Debbie.

After 30 days in the ICU, Debbie and her family prepared to say goodbye.

“That’s what stood apart here. The staff was just so incredibly kind and just helping to support us emotionally. I had two different staff ask me for her picture so they could tape it on the wall and see what she really looked like,” said Debbie.

“My mom had the best heart surgeon,” said Debbie.