Oradell, New Jersey, Woman in Perfect Health Has Major Heart Attack   

Oradell, New Jersey, Woman in Perfect Health Has Major Heart Attack

Manisha Mehta

At age 68, Manisha Mehta was considered the picture of health. At her yearly checkup in fall 2019, she was given the all clear. But a month later, as she and her husband, Bhupen, were on their way to spend his birthday with their family and beloved grandson, Manisha started to feel strange.

Initially, she thought it was acid reflux. But her condition rapidly deteriorated, and within a few minutes she felt nauseous and thought she was going to pass out.

Luckily, Palisades Medical Center was just moments away. Upon arrival, doctors determined she was in complete heart failure and needed complex cardiac care. Manisha was airlifted to Hackensack University Medical Center, where an entire team of specialists were waiting.

“Manisha presented with what we call acute STEMI, which is an acute myocardial infarction,” says cardiac surgeon Yuriy Dudiy, M.D. In other words, Manisha was having a major heart attack.

It Takes a Team

Manisha arrived at Hackensack in shock, which caused her to go into cardiac arrest multiple times. She had to be resuscitated four times. 

While her team of doctors attempted to clear numerous blockages in her heart, they placed an Impella heart pump, designed to pump blood to the rest of the body while allowing the heart to rest.

Even that was not enough: She had to be placed in a medically induced coma and put on an ECMO, a machine that takes over heart and lung function, completely allowing the heart to rest and the recovery process to begin. 

Fortunately, her doctors were able to successfully place five stents. Manisha says of her care team, “They are angels disguised as doctors, nurses and health care workers.” 

She was able to return home just in time to spend Thanksgiving with her family.

Important Message for Women

Manisha’s case is unique given that she was asymptomatic with no risk factors. But many people have warning signs well in advance, such as: 

  • Chest pain 
  • Pressure triggered with activity but relieved with rest 
  • One of the many underlying conditions that increase the risk of heart attack 

“You should see your primary care physician every year regardless of your symptoms,” Dr. Dudiy says. 

This is especially true for women who are more likely to have atypical symptoms with a heart attack than men.

Manisha encourages women to be proactive with checkups and to tell their doctor everything. In hindsight, she believes there may have been a few subtle signs that she chalked up to age. 

These days, Manisha has a new lease on life. She spends her time reading, playing online strategy games and—most importantly—spending time with her grandson. “He is my world,” she says.

“I’m so thankful to everyone at Hackensack for saving my life.” 

Next Steps & Resources:

The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.


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