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News & Events

A Thankful Heart

12/08/2016

David Feldman and his wife, Sydney.

It started as a typical fall Monday at work for David Feldman, 72, but as the day went on, he began to feel increasingly ill. He left his office at a large financial services company in downtown Boston and hopped in a taxi to go see his primary care physician a few miles away. But as the cab approached Charles St., Feldman had a massive heart attack and went into cardiac arrest.

A week later, Feldman awoke to see his wife, three sons and three daughters-in-law all gathered around his hospital bed at Tufts Medical Center.

“I said, ‘what the heck are you all doing here standing around staring at me,’” he recalled. “Only then did I begin to learn what had happened.”

As luck would have it, Bradley Donahue, an officer with the Boston Police Department’s motorcycle unit, happened to be right next to the taxi when Feldman had his heart attack. Donahue immediately performed CPR until an ambulance arrived to bring Feldman the short distance to Tufts MC. There he underwent an emergency cardiac procedure to open up a major blood vessel that supplies blood to the heart. The blood vessel had been completely blocked, so a stent was placed to keep the vessel open. Feldman’s heart could now function properly, but he wasn’t out of the woods yet.

“His case was even more complicated because he developed pneumonia, which caused septic shock and respiratory failure,” said Feldman’s attending cardiologist, Sophie Wells, MD. “But his care team was extremely attentive and aggressive with his care and despite everything he experienced, he pulled through.”

Feldman spent six days in the Critical Care Unit (CCU) and was transferred to the Cardiac Inpatient Unit for another six days, before he was discharged to a rehabilitation program. He is now back home and undergoing outpatient therapy.

“I am very optimistic about his recovery course,” said Dr. Wells. “He has a strong network of family and friends. Their tremendous love and support, in addition to the fact that he is otherwise very healthy and active, definitely helps.”

“One of the best parts of this whole experience was ‘discovering’ Tufts Medical Center - the doctors couldn’t have been any more skilled and the care I received was outstanding,” said Feldman. “The entire staff was thoughtful, supportive, skilled and hard-working. That makes all the difference in the world in caring for patients.”

To further express his gratitude, Feldman made a generous gift to the Medical Center to help support cardiac research and will be providing new Keurig coffee makers for the Cardiac Inpatient Unit and the CCU, along with an ample supply of coffee.

As for Donahue, he sought out Feldman and came to see him in the hospital while he was recovering. During the visit, Feldman told Donahue that a proper thanks would be in order for him as well, for helping to save his life.

“I promised him that once I get out of rehab, I’m taking him out to a nice steak dinner at Abe & Louie’s with my three sons,” said Feldman. “But I plan to have chicken!”

The above content is provided for educational purposes by Tufts Medical Center. For information about your own health, contact your physician.