Heart Attack Patient Bill Kirtland

Heart attack pseudoaneurysm Bill Kirtland patient storyBill Kirtland had his first heart attack in April 2013. Despite getting a stent put in, he began to feel worse. In June 2013, a trip to his cardiologist, Jeffrey Etherton, MD, revealed that Bill actually had a pseudoaneurysm in the right side of his heart, a condition that is like a giant bubble; if it had burst, he would have died in five minutes.

Bill was referred to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) where he underwent a six hour surgery led by Bradley Taylor, MD. Dr. Taylor closed the defect caused by the heart attack by placing a double bovine patch on the right side of Bill’s heart: one patch went between the right and left ventricles, and the other went on the back of the heart where the heart attack occurred. Dr. Taylor then proceeded to watch the patches for a couple hours to make sure there were no further leaks.

The operation was a success: Bill was discharged after a couple of weeks and rehabilitated at home.

Following the procedure, Dr. Etherton revealed that Bill had joined the “One Percent Club.” Only ten percent of people in his condition would have survived the ambulance ride to UMMC. From there, only ten percent of people would have lived through the surgery.

Bill considers himself to be a very fortunate man, and he credits part of his fortune to Dr. Taylor and the excellent staff at UMMC. “It was more than just the medical angle,” he said. “[Dr. Taylor] was looking at me as a whole person.”

When Dr. Taylor introduced himself, the night before Bill’s surgery, he not only talked about the procedure, but also asked Bill who he was and what he liked to do. After the surgery was finished, Dr. Taylor was scheduled to go on vacation, but he continued to call in every day to check on how Bill was doing.

Today Bill, who is 70 years old, is back to normal. He enjoys living an active life: taking care of his property in Cambridge, Maryland; vegetable gardening; playing tennis and pickleball. He is “forever grateful” for his care at UMMC: “Dr. Taylor is a very important person in my life, because as far as I’m concerned, he saved my life.”