Expert Treatment for Cardiac Blockage Gives Woman Life Back   

Expert Treatment for Cardiac Blockage Gives Woman Life Back

Woman, Elly Levine, standing in front of a lake smiling.

On the evening of September 9, 2022, Elly Levine of Galloway, New Jersey, caught herself rubbing her chest and left arm, and hoping the distracting pain would soon go away. She and her spouse, Nancy Aumack-Levine, were enjoying watching an Elvis movie, and Elly assumed the pain was either indigestion or related to her autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.

Elly, age 59, did not want to say anything that might frighten Nancy, who had nearly died of a heart attack 12 years prior.

The next day when the pain returned, Elly finally told Nancy, who insisted on driving her to Ocean University Medical Center. There, doctors discovered that she had significantly elevated cardiac enzymes, which can be an indicator that she had a heart attack, so she was admitted to the hospital.

Risk Factors Contribute to Cardiac Problems 

Elly is no stranger to physical ills. She suffered significant injuries during her two decades as a Seabee in the U.S. Navy’s Construction Battalion and while working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. After she retired, she started leading a more sedentary lifestyle and reached a weight of 250 lbs. All of that led to her having a much higher risk of heart problems.

Interventional cardiologist Eugene S. Kofman, M.D., was called into Ocean to evaluate Elly. “While she did not have typical chest pains, she had elevated cardiac enzymes and other risk factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excessive weight,” Dr. Kofman says. “In addition, her autoimmune disease may have caused underlying chronic inflammation, which can also contributes to cardiovascular problems.”

He explained to Elly her elevated enzymes indicated that she had experienced a heart attack. 

To find and treat the source, Dr. Kofman needed to do a cardiac catheterization, a minimally invasive procedure that would enable him to closely examine the problem area and accurately diagnose.

During the procedure, Dr. Kofman discovered that an artery connected to the right side of Elly’s heart was 90 percent blocked. He immediately inserted a stent, which when deployed, was able to push the blockage out of the way, allowing blood to flow normally through the artery.

State-of-the-art Cardiac Intervention 

Fortunately for Elly, she was able to have the stent placed at Ocean. Until shortly before her hospitalization, patients needing certain cardiac procedures had been transferred to other hospitals. Now, cardiac patients at Ocean benefit from the three new cardiac catheterization suites that feature the latest technology for coronary primary intervention.

Like many patients who have life-threatening cardiac problems, Elly’s recovery was challenging. She received physical rehabilitation to help her recover from her heart emergency and improve her overall health. 

Today, Elly completes her cardiac exercise program regularly, eats a healthy diet and has gotten her weight down from 250 to 179 pounds. She feels better and is able to be a more active member of her extended family household of six, including her very favorite activity, hanging with her great-nephew, Jayson, and great-niece, Juliana. 

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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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