‘Divine intervention’ saves patient’s life

Walter Pace, 67, said it was “divine intervention” that Fire and Rescue took him to Ascension St. Vincent’s Emergency Room Westside when he started experiencing extreme shortness of breath one morning.

“If the Emergency Room wasn’t there close to home, I wouldn’t have made it,” Walter said matter-of-factly. At Ascension St. Vincent’s Emergency Room Westside, Walter received the same high-quality and immediate care he needed, in a convenient location. 

As medical director Dr. Alex Mathai listened to Walter describe his symptoms that day, he knew time was of the essence. The CT scan confirmed his initial diagnosis of pulmonary embolism or blood clots in the lungs. Walter had developed six large blood clots that posed serious life-threatening problems and, even death, if left untreated. He was immediately started on emergency blood thinning medication.

Dr. Mathai arranged for an ambulance that is on-site 24/7 at the ER to transfer Walter directly to Ascension St. Vincent’s Riverside, where an interventional cardiologist was ready to perform a minimally-invasive surgical procedure to remove the blood clots that were dangerously close to his heart.

“Our Emergency Rooms have board-certified ER doctors, trained nurses and state-of-the-art equipment to take care of the sickest patients,” Dr. Mathai explained. “In addition, we can streamline ER care for patients who require immediate admission to our hospital and specialists who stand ready for emergency cases.”

Walter said Dr. Mathai’s calm demeanor set the tone for the whole experience. 

“When I was at the Emergency Room, I asked my wife why she was so calm. She said ‘I looked over at you and you seemed very calm and it put me at ease.’ The way Dr. Mathai explained everything to us and took charge of the situation, I knew things would work out. I don’t think I would have had the same outcome somewhere else.”

Ascension St. Vincent’s has two emergency rooms conveniently located in Westside and Arlington. For more information about emergency care that is close to home, visit ascension.org/stvincentscare.