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After Heart Surgery, Scott Came Back Stronger


Minutes into a 5K run, Scott inexplicably collapsed on the course among a throng of runners. His heart stopped. Doctors discovered that a heart valve defect cut off the blood flow to his heart.

Eleanor Reid, MD, happened to be nearby when she heard a shout, “We need a doctor!” Reid, a physician in Yale New Haven Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) and clinical instructor in Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine, rushed over to find Scott not breathing and without a pulse. She and two other runners, who were nurses, performed CPR for five to seven minutes.


Yale New Haven Hospital:
Come Back Healthier

“All of a sudden his eyes opened and he kept saying ‘hello,’ as if he couldn’t see or hear anything. Then he started talking to us,” Reid recalled. “By the time the ambulance arrived, he was able to walk into it.”

Unbeknownst to him, Scott had a heart defect that caused his aortic valve to narrow at an early age. Called aortic stenosis, the narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which reduces or almost completely blocks blood flow from the heart to the aorta and the rest of the body.

Arnar Geirsson, MD, YNHH chief of Cardiac Surgery, performed minimally invasive valve replacement surgery on Scott, through a small incision in his chest.

“From the outstanding nursing team to the incredible cardiologists and diagnostic testing, I had the type of care not accessible to all,” Scott said.

He is particularly grateful to Dr. Reid. “Simply put, Eleanor saved my life” he said. “Gratitude is simply not enough. My family and I are blessed.”