UPMC McKeesport Nurses Treat Patient like Family

By: Taylor Andres

Paul Glover, a 55-year-old Navy veteran, began experiencing what he thought was indigestion after an evening out with his girlfriend, Deanna. He figured he could go to bed and wake up feeling better, but Deanna urged him to go to UPMC McKeesport—a decision that ultimately saved his life.

“I owe my life to UPMC McKeesport,” Glover said. “I died three times that night, and they brought me back.”

Within minutes of Glover’s arrival to the hospital, his heart went into ventricular fibrillation, or v-fib. V-fib occurs when irregular electrical activity disrupts the function of the heart’s lower chambers and prohibits it from pumping blood. This caused Glover’s heart to collapse and sent him into cardiac arrest.

Experts in the emergency department (ED) rushed Glover to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab where doctors determined he was having a heart attack. His indigestion turned out to be a complete blockage in his artery and required a heart catheterization and stent placement by Dr. John J. Pacella, an interventional cardiologist at UPMC McKeesport.

Glover’s artery was successfully cleared, and he spent some time in the intensive care unit for an irregular heart beat before moving into the cardiac step-down unit. While he was there, the ED nurses who helped him the night of his arrival visited whenever they could.

“They treated me like a family member, like I was one of their own,” Glover said.

A reunion between Glover and the ED nurses took place in August. Everyone reconnected over a celebratory breakfast and recounted the night Glover could have died had the nurses not responded so quickly.

“It’s hard to say something more than thank you, but if there were a more meaningful way to express my gratitude, I would say it to you all,” Glover emoted.

Glover believes the nurses at UPMC McKeesport not only saved his life, but changed it. Their efforts inspired him to start leading a healthier lifestyle.

“I know I will never find the same level of care at another hospital,” Glover said. “For me there is only UPMC McKeesport.”