Saving Lives Right Here in the Valley

February 08, 2017
Saving Lives Right Here in the Valley

When retired U.S. Marine Sergeant Art Gagatch settled in for the evening to read a book, the last thing he expected was pain and pressure in his chest. He quickly realized he was having a heart attack and called out for help. His family dialed 9-1-1 and Art was rushed to Temecula Valley Hospital.

Andrew Ho, MD, performed an angiogram and found blockages in three arteries and a clot in one of Art’s valves. “I don’t remember much during this whole experience, but the one thing that stands out was waking up to see Dr. Ho,” says Art. “I was so happy to be alive!”

Advanced Minimally Invasive Technology That Saves Lives
Dr. Ho says Temecula Valley Hospital has advanced minimally invasive technology to treat patients with coronary disease and heart attacks. “We have the latest in stent technology and employ techniques whereby patients with coronary artery disease and heart attacks can be fixed via a small artery in the wrist. This allows us to save even the sickest patients with much less risk than before.”

During the procedure that saved Art’s life, Dr. Ho inserted two stents to restore blood flow in the arteries. A third was inserted a few days later. “Dr. Ho saved my life. When I asked him how serious my heart attack was, he told me that less than 20 percent of people survive it. I then realized how fortunate I was to be at Temecula Valley Hospital.”

Temecula Valley Hospital Lives Up to Its Mission Statement
Art says his experience was incredible. “My room felt like a honeymoon suite, it was that nice. Everyone who cared for me did so with detail and was constantly asking how I felt and if I needed anything. The staff was cheery and provided comfort during a rough time,” says Art. When he read the hospital’s mission statement of providing exceptional and compassionate care, he realized the culture was coming from the top. He wrote a letter to CEO Darlene Wetton, thanking her for her leadership and living up to the mission statement. “It was an amazing experience, and I am so grateful for everything they did for me during my stay,” he says.

Temecula Valley Hospital is recognized as a STEMI Receiving Center for both Riverside and San Diego counties. Learn More >