Albert Adams was rarely sick - even with something as common as the flu - so when he began to feel chest pains, he knew he needed to get to an emergency room.
The hospital near his home in Oneonta recommended going to Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. Then, as Albert's medical condition became more serious, he was flown to Rochester General Hospital and the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute.
Doctors soon realized he was having more than a heart attack, and thanks to their quick action and expertise, Albert is looking forward to life as (almost) usual.
The first doctors to see Albert recognized right away that he had had a heart attack, and they put in two stents to help him before sending him to Rochester General.
In Rochester, cardiologists used a balloon pump to improve blood circulation and give him a fighting chance. A week later, Albert's weakened heart ruptured.
Thankfully, the team at Sands-Constellation Heart Institute responded quickly and worked through every option they had to save Albert.
Sometimes torn muscles can be sutured back together, but Albert's heart muscles were too weak from the heart attack. So, doctors used medical-grade glue instead.
"It sounds crazy, but I'm so glad they did it," Albert said. "And I'm so glad it worked."
With his heart healing, doctors were able to turn their attention to other organs that had suffered. Eventually, Albert said goodbye to dialysis and the ventilator and started to walk again.
And when he was well enough, they added a left ventricular assist device, commonly called an LVAD, to help his heart pump.
Now, Albert is home. He has a few limitations, but not many.
"I feel good," he said, "and I'm happy to make the trip to Rochester for my follow-up appointments. They saved my life."