Vina’s Story

One week before I was going to get married, I had chest pain and heartburn followed by a flutter in my chest. It was lunchtime while I was at work and when I bent down to grab my lunchbox I had a felling like I was going to faint. My mom came to pick me up. Knowing that Delray Medical Center is the best hospital in the area for heart care I told my mom to drive me there.

She took me to the emergency room and when the hospital staff noticed my condition I was rushed back and then admitted immediately. Initially, the medical staff performed tests to see if I had suffered a heart attack. they performed some blood tests, then a nuclear medicine scan followed by a CAT scan. Numerous blood clots were found to be traveling through different parts of my body.

The biggest blood clot I had was a deadly pulmonary embolism approaching my lungs and heart. I was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) where Dr. Joseph Ricotta met with me at 4 o’clock in the morning. My fiancé never left me at the hospital. We were due to be married in less than two weeks. 

In the operating room, during a one-hour procedure Dr. Ricotta was able to intravenously perform a bloodless medicine emergency procedure to destroy the pulmonary embolism. Dr. Ricotta was able to gain access to the pulmonary embolism near my lungs and heart by going through the arteries in my groin area. During the procedure, Dr. Ricotta was able to maneuver a drug eluting catheter-based stent up to the area near my heart to access the huge clot pushing up against my heart. Once the catheter was in place, he used it to break up the embolism.

Dr. Ricotta put me at ease. He is very knowledgeable and explained his treatment plan before he started. The team in the room seemed very confident; they were calm like they had done this before. The procedure was painless. I just couldn’t move while Dr. Ricotta was treating my pulmonary embolism. I am fortunate to be alive.

On Tuesday, I was admitted to the hospital, Wednesday morning Dr. Ricotta treated my pulmonary embolism, in turn, saving my life and by Saturday I was sitting at the rehearsal dinner for my wedding. The next Saturday I got married!

After the surgery, Dr. Ricotta treated an additional small blood clot in my leg. At a follow-up appointment for an ultrasound at Dr. Ricotta’s office, the blood clot in my leg was gone. I was able to get married right on schedule. Dr. Ricotta took very good care of me. He was excellent. Throughout the entire process, Dr. Ricotta was very patient and easy to understand. Today, everything is great and I am blood clot free!

For more information, click here to view Dr. Ricotta's website profile.