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Stephen Gormley's story

Description of Your Relationship with Tufts Medical Center and/or Floating Hospital for Children: 
I am a patient at Tufts Medical Center and am currently awaiting a heart transplant. I am receiving outpatient care from multiple departments related to cardiomyopathy, including regular visits to the LVAD clinic. My inpatient experience includes cardiac care and surgery and hospital stays in CTU and Pratt 8.

How did you come to receive care at Tufts MC or Floating Hospital?
In January of 2016, I was rushed to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, MA in extreme heart failure. After rounds of testing, I was told that the resources at UMass could not provide any further treatment for my condition. It was then that Doctor Shih (who is also affiliated with Tufts) explained that I still had options, explained those options, and recommended that I proceed with testing to become a heart transplant candidate. I was transported from UMass Memorial Medical to Tufts to complete the testing.

Beginning with Dr. Shih, and then all of Tufts’ doctors, nurses, and staff saved my life. Since helping my recovery from a critical state, and receiving an LVAD, I am fortunate to enjoy a better quality of life, at home, while I await a heart transplant.

What advice would you offer patients and/or their families who are receiving care at Tufts Medical Center to make their stay easier/most comfortable?
In my experience, having a private room (if possible) was very beneficial for rest and recovery. I would also encourage patients to move (sit up, walk) within the guidelines provided by the medical staff as soon as possible. This helped me to recover more quickly and shorten my stay in the hospital.

What helped you most during your stay/your family member’s stay at Tufts Medical Center?
The nurses and support staff provided excellent and compassionate care. The nursing staff, in addition to the medical monitoring and medication schedule, provided helpful information every step of the way in my hospitalization (with information about scheduled procedures and tests) and what to expect when I got home. The support staff was kind and helpful in addressing basic human needs, helping me to feel refreshed and comfortable each day.

What area amenities (stores, restaurants, etc.) did you/your family find helpful:
While I was a patient on Pratt 8, my family found local accommodations at the Hilton Doubletree and restaurants at the hotel and within the Tufts building to be very helpful. Valet parking was also helpful, but only if the visits were within their operating hours.

What is one piece of advice you would like to give potential patients or families?
Ask questions about your care. It is helpful to understand what may happen during your stay, including the many procedures and/or tests you may be confronted with. 

Your family should understand what support is required when you leave the hospital as soon as possible so the family can plan. A good example is being sent home with a pic line used for medication before VAD surgery, or the dressing changes required after VAD surgery.

Many of the issues and requirements are explained to you during your stay, but it is helpful for you and your family to be comfortable and confident with the information.