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Mary Jane O'Fiel

Heart attack patient says ‘Kelsey-Seybold saved my life’

Mary Jane O’Fiel awoke one morning in February 2007 and knew something was terribly wrong. She had been feeling poorly for a couple of weeks, but delayed calling her doctor. On this particular morning, she knew she’d better stop procrastinating. Although she didn’t know it then, she was having a heart attack.

She called Dr. Donnie Aga’s office, her Kelsey-Seybold Clinic primary care physician, and after describing her symptoms, was advised to go to the hospital immediately. Shortly after arriving at the St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital emergency room, she learned she was in major heart failure.

“My own mother died of a heart attack at 62. Some of the symptoms I was having, when I thought back on it, my mother had those same symptoms – shortness of breath, indigestion and a cold feeling in my chest,” Mary Jane recalled.

A hospital surgeon performed double-bypass surgery on Mary Jane. She found out later from Dr. Aga and her then-Kelsey-Seybold Cardiologist Dr. Tony Tran just how slim her odds of survival were.

“My doctors couldn’t believe my recovery, especially Dr. Tran. I think he was just elated. Because he came to see me in the hospital , he saw all that was wrong with me. Quite frankly, I don’t think he thought I was going to survive, even though he was still very supportive,” said Mary Jane. “When I went to see him afterward, he was quite pleased.”

Mary Jane credits Kelsey-Seybold Clinic with saving her life.

“I am alive today, literally because of those doctors and the staff member who took her information and didn’t wait to tell the doctor. She knew. She said, ‘You need to get to the hospital.’ I really appreciate that because I wouldn’t be here,” Mary Jane said.

Mary Jane has been a Kelsey-Seybold patient for some 20 years. After recovering from her heart attack, she was diagnosed with having diabetes. Her health is closely followed by her primary care physician and a team of Kelsey-Seybold specialists in Cardiology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, Neurology and Dermatology who are all connected through the Kelsey-Seybold Electronic Medical Record system.

“They all have a great bedside manner. Because I’ve known Dr. Aga the longest, perhaps I have more of a personal relationship with Dr. Aga. He’s great,” Mary Jane observed. “I could tell, when I had my heart attack, the compassion he felt for me and what had happened.”

She said she can’t recommend Kelsey-Seybold enough to others.

“I would not trade my doctors I have here at Kelsey for any other doctors,” Mary Jane said. “They have been superb … they have been very helpful… they saved my life. I would not go anywhere else.”​​