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Jim Cornell Stays Close to Home for Heart Surgery

When Jim Cornell sought medical attention for a hip condition in November 2010, pre-op testing revealed that his hips weren't his only concern.

His heart murmur had become severe aortic stenosis, which can cause heart failure. He had only weeks, maybe a month and a half, to have surgery, his cardiologist said.

To prepare for surgery, Jim interviewed local cardiothoracic surgeons. He also considered the Cleveland Clinic, but ultimately decided to stay close to home, choosing Mercy Hospital's Dr. John Bell-Thomson to perform the aortic valve replacement. "The more I looked, the more it became clear to me that rather than searching all over the Northeast, the best solution was right here in Buffalo at Mercy Hospital," he said.

 “It’s not until you wake up and see your loved ones there again that suddenly you realize you’re a pretty lucky person.”

A week after surgery, Jim praised the care that he received at Mercy Hospital.

"The level of care was, in a word, extraordinary. My charge nurse, Marci, was my best friend and made sure that any question I had was answered, any need that I had attended to. The same is true of the rest of the staff. Two of the gals were pregnant, yet the care for all of us in the unit was never without a smile."

After surgery, Jim reported that he no longer experienced symptoms that had plagued him for years – constant wheezing, bloating, fatigue, cramps, muscle spasms. His energy level had increased and his breathing better than it had been in years. "It was astounding," he said.

After being cleared for air travel in March, Jim spent over a week in Panama, enjoying the tropical temperatures and rainforest with his family and friends.

"My great fortune, in being able to live what I believe is going to be a long life, is directly attributable to the entire care team.  I can't think of a single thing that I would change in the care that I received from Mercy."

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