Patient Stories

In 1999, Margaret Fiore Lizardi was in her mid-50s with a high-powered job—Director of Administration for a New York law firm. Her doctors discovered a calcification of the aortic valve that may have resulted from a childhood bout of rheumatic fever. Surgeons replaced Margaret's valve and later gave her a pacemaker. But in 2005, she was diagnosed with stenosis of the aorta and her symptoms were so severe she could no longer work. After consulting with specialists all over the country, Margaret finally met with Drs. Mehmet Oz, Donna Mancini and others at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. Their verdict: in a few years' time, she would need an LVAD and then a donor heart.
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Sue Mirza continues the crucial work her husband began, by helping to fund critical research into the genetic causes of pancreatic cancer.
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Sarah and Chris Costa at their wedding, May 14, 2011
Chris Costa, a 26-year-old paramedic in Connecticut, was taking a quick ride on his motorcycle when he was sideswiped by a truck. He sustained serious trauma, including seven broken ribs and a broken right femur, and was rushed to St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport.
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Dr. Sheldon Feldman discusses his involvement with Sharsheret, an organization promoting awareness of breast cancer in the Jewish community.
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In September, 2008, Melissa, then a healthy 27-year old, started feeling short of breath. She became so ill that her family called 911 and she was rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian/Allen Hospital, where she had a dangerously low oxygen levels and was placed on a mechanical ventilator to help her breathe.
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When she made a trip to her local emergency room for a heart problem in 2009, Rokshana Husain could not have foreseen the complex journey that visit would initiate. Not satisfied with her initial diagnosis, Rokshana sought a second opinion at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, which proved to be a life-saving decision. Read Rokshana's story of beating pancreatic cancer.
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Robert Loftus
Robert Loftus tripped while catching the game-winning touchdown pass in a football game with friends. He broke his leg — both his tibia and fibula — and was rushed to the ER at Hudson Valley Hospital Center.
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After undergoing a Whipple Procedure in August of 2009, Alyson Peluso helped established the P.E.A.C.E fund - aiming to alleviate some of the financial burden placed on patients while they are hospitalized for pancreatic cancer.
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A pilot for Pan AM and United Airlines, Richard Stowe took a leave of absence in 1999 to have surgery on his knee. While he was recovering, his physicians discovered an arrhythmia and later, performed an ablation procedure to correct the arrhythmia. In 2000, Richard had bypass surgery followed by a mitral valve repair. Months later he required an ICD-an implantable cardioverter defibrillator-to regulate his heartbeat. As the years went by, his heart kept getting larger and in 2006, his cardiologist referred him to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia, where his cardiologist explained that he would benefit from an LVAD.
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