One week before Christmas, surgeons told Sidney Bell that because she was a high-risk patient for cardiac surgery, she would not survive the week even with triple bypass surgery. Bell had a history of kidney failure and a previous cardiac catheterization. Research and case studies for patients like her showed a low success rate.
“When a surgeon looked me in the eye and told me I would die with or without treatment, I didn’t know how to react,” Bell said. “It was startling news for me and my family. I decided to get a second opinion.”
After consulting with her primary care physician, Bell was referred to Robert Dunton, MD, and medical director of the Bon Secours Heart and Vascular Institute. He approved her for surgery and took careful precautions to prepare her, putting Bell and her family at ease.
“My daughter, Yvonne, is my mother hen,” Bell said. “She has always taken care of me when I was ill with kidney failure and wanted to be with me in the hospital. Bon Secours understood that and let her be with me every step of the way.”
Now Bell has resumed her life and continues to live with her daughter.
She is now more involved with her church and attends meetings of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Bell says it is persistence, and not taking “no” for an answer, that allowed her to live more than the week she was given.
“I am more outgoing and ready to try new things,” Bell said. “My surgery, and my life, were by far the best Christmas presents I ever received.”