July 18, 2010 started like most summer days as 45-year-old Timothy Banks, who operates machinery throughout the Chambersburg area, headed into work.
Timothy remembers it was a particularly hot July day, and although he is used to working through stifling summers, that morning, he started feeling worse than typical heat related discomfort.
“I felt sick, and I actually sat beside my work truck,” he recalls. “Then I felt so bad I laid down right next to my truck. I had a pain in my chest, it felt like someone was tearing me apart.”
A coworker noticed Timothy and immediately called 911. The ambulance crew connected Timothy to a defibrillator, confirming the 45-year-old man who was otherwise in great health, was having a major heart attack.
“The ambulance brought me to Chambersburg Hospital where Dr. Safi saved my life,” Timothy explained. “There was an army there, waiting for me.”
That army was quickly able to get Timothy to the WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital Cath Lab, where a team of specialists, including interventional cardiologist Dr. Arshad Safi battled to save his life.
Timothy was awake and conscious for the entire experience, and says Dr. Safi talked him though the procedure as he placed stents in four major blockages around Timothy’s heart.
Since his heart attack Timothy has quit smoking and goes for regular follow-up appointments. He’s also part of a clinical trial at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital that is testing medication to help keep inflammation down in the body, a way of preventing future heart attacks by preventing veins from being inflamed and restricting blood flow.
The interventional cardiology team at WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital touts response times that exceed national benchmarks, and is consistently recognized by organizations including the American Heart Association for its patient outcomes. Yet, perhaps the most award-winning quality of the department is the way the doctors speak to their patients.
“I think the one thing that stands out to me about Dr. Safi, is yes, he did save my life, but he’s the type of person that when he sees me, he doesn’t have to look at a chart to see what my name is, he knows who I am. That’s caring, right there,” Timothy explained.