• News

"NYC Man Gets Second Chance at Life After Heart Attack While Running"

  • WABC News
  • New York, NY
  • (June 14, 2019)

Verissimo Costa was the picture of health and completed long-distance runs every day. But one day when he took to his favorite path along the Hudson River last October, his heart suddenly stopped. For days, doctors didn't know who he was because he was unconscious, and once he came to, he said he never thought it was his heart that would be the problem. The 42-year-old was physically fit, ate a vegan diet and had consistent physicals. Doctors say most people die after a heart attack like the one Costa experienced. It was thanks to a series of events that helped him beat the odds. John Puskas, MD, chair of cardiovascular surgery at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West worked to cool Costa’s body temperature to help his brain heal. Then he used an innovative heart bypass. "We did for him a very special operation, one in which we use no veins, we used only arteries for his bypass," Dr. Puskas said. Dr. Puskas said it may require more than a physical to make the diagnosis and not everyone will get a second chance like Costa.

— John Puskas, MD, Chair, Cardiovascular Surgery, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, Mount Sinai West, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, Director, Surgical Coronary Revascularization, Mount Sinai Health System, Professor, Cardiovascular Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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