A Family Affair
Sharing Love and the Same Doctor
They shared nearly everything in their decades of marriage including many moments that were both heart warming and heart-rending. More recently, they even shared the same doctor. St. Francis is known for treating patients like family, so it’s not unusual for our physicians to take care of husbands, wives, and even their children.
Roland and Muriel Driscoll, who’ve been married for more than 50 years, are a case in point. Roland suffered a silent heart attack that went undetected until it was diagnosed by Richard Shlofmitz, M.D., Chairman of Cardiology. Four years after undergoing successful quadruple bypass surgery at St. Francis, his wife was diagnosed with a coronary artery blockage by the same doctor. She had a triple bypass that was also a success.
“I was waiting for the diagnosis, when Dr. Shlofmitz came in. I said who will take care of me? He said ‘I will.’ That made me feel 100 percent better and I haven’t worried since,” says Roland, whose son and daughter became patients of the doctor in light of their family history.
Tracy and Helene Fitch went through a similar scare. Helene was diagnosed by Dr. Shlofmitz with pericardial effusion, which is a potentially dangerous accumulation of excess fluid around the heart. A year later, the doctor performed an angiogram on her husband, who was diagnosed with a deteriorating aortic valve and had an emergency valve replacement.
“In the nick of time it had to be done. It takes a long time to recover, but thankfully I’m here,” says Tracy, who recently celebrated his 35th wedding anniversary.
The couples were not only saved by Dr. Shlofmitz, but served by him as well. The top cardiologist, who’s also an avid chef, whipped up a romantic, heart healthy Valentine’s Day brunch for them and three other patient couples. “What better day to celebrate their hearts being together?” he said.