St. Joseph's Celebrates 10 Years of Open Heart Surgery

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St. Joseph's Campus of Camden Clark Medical Center gets to the heart of the matter, celebrating 10 years of open heart surgery.

Current and former heart patients, doctors and staff honored what's become a place to go for quality open-heart care right here at home.

Since the program first started in 2004, more than 1,500 procedures have been performed and many lives saved.

Doris Cantwell, an 89-year-old from Cairo is one of them, the hospital's first heart surgery patient in 1979.

"It was something I wasn't expecting at all,” she says. “I had come in for a stress test and I wasn't expecting to have surgery, but it was great.”

Cantwell says in all these years she hasn't been anywhere else, because she hasn't had a need.

She was well taken care of, and calls herself a "St. Joe's person."

Dr. David Gnegy of Parkersburg Cardiology says for years they worked towards the point of getting these type of services here.

Now at the one decade mark, all he can think about is where they're headed next with all the new advances.

"The cath lab in the OR, where patients hospital stays are shorter, where people that previously might have had open heart surgery can get by with not having that done now," he says.

According to Gnegy, they're also expanding the heart failure program to assist people who are living longer with heart disease that didn't before.

Time marches on and so does the technology in medicine.

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