HeroCare Connect was exactly the program Vietnam Army Veteran Bob Iasillo needed. The program, a joint venture between Deborah Heart and Lung Center and Cooper University Health Care, connects active duty military, retirees, veterans, and their dependents to quality healthcare.
Over the past few years, Iasillo had frequent and intense episodes of tachycardia (extremely rapid heart rate). In 2016, he ended up in his local ER. While there, a cardiac catheterization showed that, in addition to his heart rhythm problem, he had three major blockages in his coronary arteries including a 100 percent blockage in his left anterior descending artery, otherwise known as the "widow maker," an often unexpectedly fatal condition.
Iasillo recalls doctors attempting to insert a stent, but felt the artery was too heavily calcified. They wanted to send him to another hospital for a plaque-removing procedure called rotablation, but the Veterans Administration (VA) insisted he go to the VA hospital in Manhattan. The testing was inconclusive and doctors declined to treat his blockages, considering the procedure too risky.
These frustrating circumstances, including his cardiologist moving out of state, which landed him on a six-month appointment wait list for a new cardiologist, curtailing his attempts for treatment.
That's when HeroCare Connect stepped in.
A lifesaving Program
Iasillo 's daughter had heard about the program and she quickly made a call. HeroCare Connect Patient Service Specialist/Navigator Chris Cattani, LPN remembers that call.
"Because of the seriousness of his condition, I knew we had to quickly get him an appointment with a Deborah specialist," Cattani says.
"Getting the authorization from the VA and scheduling his appointment was our priority," she adds. "Following Bob's initial consultation, Deborah specialists placed stents in his coronary arteries to restore blood flow. The next steps were follow-up appointments with Deborah electrophysiology experts to address his heart rhythm problems."
Bob is thankful to the HeroCare Connect Program and for Chris.
"This program is so amazing," he says. "They take care of everything and have so much knowledge, and spend time and attention on each patient. "I'd recommend anyone who needs care take advantage of it to get the care they need."
As for Chris and the HeroCare Connect team? They were simply doing their jobs.
"We are proud to serve those who have served," Chris says. "Our veterans simply need and deserve the very best care. Bob served us, and now it's my time to serve him."
To get Connected with HeroCare Connect, call 866-948-9403.