Marilyn’s Story

Walking Through the Airport, I Began to Suffer Terrible Pain. I Grabbed My Chest Gasping for Breath, Could Not Breathe and Thought for Sure It Was a Heart Attack. At Delray Medical Center, Dr. Joseph Ricotta Was Able to Dissolve the Clots Causing a Life-threatening Pulmonary Embolism and Provide Care to Me for a Deep Vein Thrombosis Condition. I Am Very Grateful to Dr. Ricotta. He Saved My Life.

I was returning from a safari trip with friends to South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe and after a 19-hour airplane trip began to suffer sharp pains in my chest. Walking through the airport, I began to suffer terrible pain. I grabbed my chest gasping for breath, could not breathe and thought for sure it was a heart attack. However, I did not have any type of heart condition and shortly thereafter my symptoms somewhat subsided. We were in Fort Lauderdale and my friends wanted to call 911 or take me to the hospital. I persuaded my friends to grab the luggage and take me from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport directly to Delray Medical Center because I knew Dr. Ricotta was the doctor who could help me.

When we arrived at Delray Medical Center, they took me right in, did all the scans, tests and found out that both of my lungs were full of clots causing a pulmonary embolism. In my right leg, I was also suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which meant my leg veins were full of blood clots. The medical staff started me on intravenous care to prevent more blood clots. I closed my eyes, not even three minutes later I re-opened them and there was Dr. Ricotta. He said hello to me and I said, ‘Oh my God! Dr. Ricotta it’s you!’

Dr. Ricotta asked me what I was doing there and I told him quickly what happened and about just returning from Africa. Without a pause, Dr. Ricotta informed me that he was going to finish up with one surgery and then start my procedure. I asked Dr. Ricotta if I was dying and he said, ‘no you are not dying. I am going to fix you.’ Next thing I know, just a few hours later, I was in recovery and the nurse came over to me to answer any questions.

Dr. Ricotta told me after the procedure that he placed two catheters, one in each lung, through a small puncture in the groin to dissolve the blood clots using a specialized EkoSonic™ Endovascular System (EKOS) which employs ultrasound pressure and acoustic streaming  as well as delivers the clot-busting medicine tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). The procedure took less than 30 minutes and the following day my blood clots were gone and I was able to leave the hospital. My chest pain and breathing difficulty resolved immediately and I recovered quickly and had follow-up appointments at Dr. Ricotta’s Prime Vascular Institute office in Delray Beach.

I am very grateful to Dr. Ricotta. He saved my life. Today, I still go to him for vascular and endovascular care for all my veins and arteries. Dr. Ricotta had his staff follow-up with scans and ultrasounds to make sure I do not develop any more blood clots. He sent me to a hematologist oncologist to find out if genetically my body was producing these blood clots or if they are provoked from flying on an airplane and sitting down too long.

Dr. Ricotta continues to follow up on my leg care. His office staff is also wonderful. They are a fabulous group, every one of them and they are so efficient. I make my appointments in advance for every six months so Dr. Ricotta and his vascular team can check my veins and arteries, which gives me a peace of mind and keeps me healthy.

Dr. Ricotta is just marvelous. I have sent him numerous patients already because I have friends also in their 70s as well as some in their 80s who live in my adult community at Villaggio in west Lake Worth. When anyone mentions their legs are hurting or if they are having other vascular problems and may need a vascular doctor, I tell them you have to go see Dr. Joseph Ricotta, he is in Delray Beach and he is wonderful. Dr. Ricotta has always been patient with me, he does not rush me, he listens and if I have questions, Dr. Ricotta takes the time to answer me. I tell Dr. Ricotta that I am his biggest fan. When he walks into the room, I tell Dr. Ricotta that he is my hero! He literally saved my life.

My experience at Delray Medical Center was wonderful as well. At Delray Medical Center, they acted so quickly because I was so critical. In addition, Dr. Ricotta is always so caring and careful in directing treatments for my conditions. Dr. Ricotta is just so dedicated to the care he provides to our community. He is fantastic! Additionally, Dr. Ricotta knows all of the latest procedures, robotics and he is also a professor teaching surgery at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton. I sing his praises and let anyone who talks about or mentions him how great Dr. Ricotta is in providing vascular care.

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