In late 2010, Harold "Buck" Kuisel, of Bath, had a valve replacement at Sparrow. Kuisel said he is grateful for Sparrow and his doctor. Ara Pridjian, MD, whom he attended a new membership orientation with at his church, approached him while he was in the hospital recovering from a heart catheterization procedure with unexpected but comforting news. Sparrow physicians spend time with patients – answering questions, listening and treating each one like family.
"I didn't think he remembered who I was. He called me by my nickname 'Buck.' He said, 'Buck, I personally want to take your case.' I was scared going into everything, and after talking to him I just felt relieved." From that point on, I had the emotional strength I needed," said Kuisel, 65, who added, "The entire Sparrow hospital experience was a relief. They've got this right down to a science, every step of the way." Not surprising since Sparrow is now home to the region's leading heart team: expert doctors and nurses trained to work seamlessly together to deliver life-saving care.
In 2007, Kuisel had a pacemaker put in, because his heart rate dropped to below 30 and progressively got worse from there. The valve was replaced and during the operation, an aneurysm was discovered on his aorta (link to health library). Since October 2010, Kuisel said he has made major life changes with Sparrow's help. And, today, he impacts the lives of others who may be in a situation similar to his own through Sparrow's heart ambassador program.
"It involves cardiac patients like myself. And, to be a member, you have to have gone through it," he said. The team, which consists of 10 members, pairs off five days a week to visit cardiac patients to answer questions and tell them about their experiences. To learn more about volunteer services, visit sparrow.org/how-to-become-volunteer.