Patient Story - Andrew Zidel

Nine months after an endocarditis bacterial infection suddenly scarred the lining of previously healthy Andrew Zidel's heart valve, an echocardiogram ordered by the 35-year-old's Jeanes Hospital cardiologist appeared worrisome.

So David M. Masiak, DO, Zidel's Temple Health cardiologist, conferred with Robert S. Boova, MD, a Temple heart surgeon at Jeanes Hospital. Both agreed it would be prudent to replace the Elkins Park resident’s heart valve before it became more problematic. Dr. Boova performed the six-hour procedure on July 1.

"We could have chosen several hospitals," says Zidel. "But we wanted Jeanes, which is only about five minutes from our home, and we wanted Temple doctors."

Both during his hospital stay and after his release, Zidel‘s experience was excellent. "The facilities are great, practically brand new, and both Dr. Masiak and Dr. Boova are professional and caring, as well as very proactive and extremely thorough," he says. "They kept a close eye on me and followed a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach that, as a patient, made me feel good."

After his release, Zidel was also impressed with the accessibility of the doctors and their staffs, including Boova’s nurse-practitioner, Jacqueline: "I had every confidence that if I had any questions or issues, day or night I could reach her. She also brings so much to the patient experience, with her personality and knowledge about cardiology."

Less than two months after his surgery, Zidel, was back at work. "Everything with my valve and heart is really good," reported Zidel.

By Labor Day, he was cleared to lift 20 pounds, which meant he could lift his daughter Hope, who celebrated her first birthday on his 36th birthday, Sept. 19. He would also soon be able to lift his two-year-old son Max. Enjoying his newfound freedom, he and his wife Rachel were enjoying taking their children to Norristown's Elmwood Park Zoo and walking them to their local playground. He was also able to help out more, fixing Max’s pre-school lunches and giving Hope her final bottle of the day before placing her in her crib.

For a grateful Zidel, whose children both spent time in a neo-natal intensive care unit, "the life-and-death procedure" Dr. Boova performed on him has given him a new, more profound perspective on life.

"Just being able to spend time with the family has been really important," says Zidel. "Our kids had to fight for their lives, as did I, so we realize just how precious life is."

To schedule an appointment with a heart and vascular surgeon at Jeanes, click here or call 215-728-CARE (2273).

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