Healing Hands Award: Gagnon Nurses and Leading Clinicians
After a series of near-fatal health conditions, Dennis Gibbons quickly recognized the physicians and nurses at Morristown Medical Center, who came through with multiple, speedy diagnoses; expert medical interventions; and a level of teamwork that proved lifesaving for the Jersey City, New Jersey-resident. He and his wife, Lucia, avid cyclists, acknowledged Gurpreet Sidhu, MD; Renee Frankel, MD; Jason Lowenstein, MD; and John Brown, MD, with Healing Hands tribute awards. They also gave a generous gift in honor of the nurses at Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute.
“I almost lost Dennis,” Lucia Gibbons said. “Your great emergency room, doctors and nurses have us celebrating my husband’s strong comeback.”
The 61-year-old’s health issues began when he lost weight without trying and became breathless while walking up a flight of stairs. When Dennis Gibbons’ ankles began to swell on vacation in Bermuda, they flew back to New Jersey and went straight to the Sameth Emergency Department (ED) at Morristown Medical Center.
Once at the ED, a medical team rushed to his side.
“They spoke in plain language, and I could understand what was going on,” Lucia Gibbons said.
Dr. Sidhu’s diagnosis was quick and accurate: heart failure. Spending a week at Gagnon Cardiovascular Institute at Morristown Medical Center, physicians at the Heart Success Program fitted him with a defibrillator vest. The nurses catered to his every need.
“Everyone was highly professional and highly responsive,” Dennis Gibbons said. “Especially the nurses – they were phenomenal. And Dr. Sidhu was the captain of the team throughout. My wife and I fully trust and love that man.”
Once home from the hospital, Dennis Gibbons experienced intense back pain, which he thought was from the weight of his defibrillator vest. But after an exam by Dr. Frankel, she discovered his spine had eroded from a bacterial infection.
“He looked terrible, and I was worried he wouldn’t make it to our 27th wedding anniversary,” Lucia Gibbons said.
After an antibiotic regimen, Dennis Gibbons looked like a new person, although he would need spinal fusion surgery. He chose Dr. Lowenstein to handle the spinal fusion and in no time, after surgery, the couple was back to their workout routine. Dennis Gibbons could not believe the next health issue. During a routine MRI, physicians found an aortic aneurysm. Thankfully, it was small enough only to require monitoring – and in stepped Dr. Brown.
“I was impressed with Dr. Brown’s expertise and bedside manner,” Dennis Gibbons said. “He would greet me in the waiting room. I’ve never had a doctor do that in my life.”
What struck Dennis Gibbons the most was the teamwork of the doctors.
“All four of them made me better,” he said. “All four made me heal; all four put me back together.”