PATIENT STORY

There and Back Again – Aleem’s Story

Aleem Mohammed is thankful for his new lease on life after undergoing a heart procedure at the Institute for Patient Blood Management and Bloodless Medicine and Surgery at Englewood Health

On a November evening in 2016, Aleem Mohammed felt a crushing pain in his chest. After calling his doctor’s office, he and his wife rushed from their Jersey City home to a local emergency room with their adult son in tow.

The staff at the hospital quickly put him into an elevator so that he could be taken up for examination.

“As I got into the elevator, I told them I couldn’t breathe, and that was it,” Aleem recalls. “I went down. I don’t remember anything after that.”

2,700 Seconds

What happened next sounded just as remarkable to Aleem as it did to his family and friends, many of whom were there to experience it.

“The doctors coded me at the hospital, and the heart monitor flatlined,” Aleem says. “They were about to turn everything off, but my son told them to get back in the room and see what they could do, so they kept trying.”

After 45 minutes of failed attempts to revive Aleem, the doctors were ready to give up when a blip on the computer signaled the return of his heartbeat.

One week later, Aleem was transferred to The Bloodless Institute at Englewood Hospital, where he underwent a procedure to treat the congestive heart failure that had come so close to taking his life.

“Other doctors in the past told me I would die if I didn’t take a blood transfusion, but the doctor at The Bloodless Institute encouraged me,” Aleem says. “He told me not to worry and that he would take care of me.”

The doctor was true to his word. Aleem received a new defibrillator and was able to go home the next day. He has since worked with his cardiologist to improve his heart health through lifestyle and dietary changes and hopes his experience can inspire others to improve their health.

“Don’t wait until the last minute to take action,” Aleem cautions. “It might be too late.”

An Important Difference

While Aleem has received bloodless surgery at other hospitals in the past, the support and expertise he witnessed at Englewood Hospital was unlike anything he had experienced before.

“I needed surgery in 2004 at another hospital, and the staff there was pressuring me to accept a blood transfusion,” Aleem remembers. “I was able to find a doctor to perform the surgery without blood, but I think hospitals are lacking when it comes to this type of care. That’s why I recommend The Bloodless Institute at Englewood Hospital.”


Originally published in CHOICES, Issue 2, 2019

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