Heart Stories

AAMC’S WORLD-CLASS CARDIAC CARE Saves Father Jim Kiesel’s Heart

It had been a good night. After celebrating Mass, Father Jim Kiesel, a pastor at St. Joseph Parish in Odenton, took out to dinner a group of seminary students he was supervising.

“We had a ball,” Father Jim says.“I felt great.”

But when he got home, Father Jim, 58, says he started having pains in his chest and a tingling down his arm. His chest felt heavy. So he phoned a parishioner, who is also a nurse, for advice.

“She told me to call 911 immediately.”

It was the best advice he could have received. When Father Jim arrived at the emergency room of AAMC, he was quickly diagnosed with what’s called ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction, or STEMI, the most severe and dangerous form of heart attack, in which the blood flow in a coronary artery is completely blocked.

Elizabeth Reineck, MD, an interventional cardiologist at AAMC, says the situation was grave: “The artery to the back side of his heart was completely blocked. We worked rapidly to get him to the catheterization lab and open up his artery.” …read more