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Edward's Story

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Pulmonary Embolism

When Edward first saw a physician about a recurring pain in his abdomen, he was referred to Temple to receive care for a hernia. Dealing with several personal issues at the time, he delayed seeking treatment as he tried to prioritize other life circumstances demanding his attention. His symptoms worsened and, one day, Edward experienced an unusual shortness of breath as he climbed steps to take out the trash. He felt a sharp pain emerge in his chest and shoot down his left arm. He thought he was having a heart attack and shouted for someone to call an ambulance. 

“I remember getting taken out of the ambulance at Temple and being wheeled into the ER,” says Edward. “The next thing I knew, I was awake in an intensive care unit and my brother, sister, aunt and pastor were all there.” Edward had suffered three cardiac arrests due to a massive pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs). 

When faced with Edward’s sudden and life-threatening medical issues, the Temple Lung Center’s Pulmonary Embolism Response Team (PERT) worked quickly to provide timely and effective care. Pulmonologists, emergency medicine physicians, cardiologists, interventional radiologists, cardiac surgeons, hematologist, hospitalists and internal medicine residents collaborated to make complex medical decisions as a unified team. 

Edward enjoys spending time volunteering to give back to his community.

“Edward’s case is an example of the highest level of complexity someone can have with a pulmonary embolism,” says Dr. Parth Rali, who worked to have Temple designated as a founding member of the National PERT Consortium. “It highlights the fact that some of the most complex medical decisions are better taken in a multidisciplinary approach rather than an individualized nature. Edward’s recovery would not have been possible without the great team effort by our PERT.”

Edward says he is grateful for the life-saving care he received from Temple. “My care was cohesive. They always had the information they needed from whichever unit or specialists it needed to come from,” he adds. “Looking back now on what I’ve been through, I couldn’t have gotten better care from anywhere else.”

Today, Edward is finished with home therapy and is excited to start a monthly outpatient pulmonary rehabilitation routine to continue rebuilding his strength and mobility. He isn’t strong enough to go back to work yet, but he volunteers daily at his church, including during an evening program that offers free meals to the community. When he’s not volunteering, Edward enjoys spending time with family and working on his faith. “I am thankful every day,” says Edward. “I know there will be challenges, but I’ve learned to take things one step at a time.”