Oneonta man’s heart basically blows up, saved by RGH doctors and nurses

Raven Brown
Updated: February 18, 2020 06:53 PM
Created: February 18, 2020 06:18 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — They're calling him a walking miracle. 

Nearly four months ago, Al Adams was seemingly healthy, so healthy, that he didn't even go for a check-up. 


“I didn't even go to the doctor and never even had the flu ever in my life,” Adams said. 

That all changed in September when he and his wife noticed something was wrong.

“I was working around the house, moving some stuff and then I started to feel bad,” Adams said. 

Al's heart basically blew up.

"I wasn't feeling well, so I told my wife I better go to the emergency room,” Adams said. 

He started in Oneonta, where doctors there told him he had to go to a hospital in Cooperstown. From there, he was flown three and half hours away to Rochester General. 

Mr. Adams is actually very, very lucky all the stars lined up for him to survive,” surgeon Soon Park, M.D. said. 

Park said he did at least five operations where the team had to glue together Al's heart and put a pump in. 

“The heart is a muscle and when muscle dies, they just don't hold any strength and so it tore,” Park said. “Usually when muscles tear you can suture them together but because of heart attack it's so weak you can't possibly put it back together very well."

Park said when hearts rupture, the survival rate is very low. 

“Coming from Cooperstown about 3 and half hours having all those thing done and being here alive healthy it's remarkable,” Park said. 

A walking miracle, thankful to be alive with the help of those at RGH.

“They did a great job,” Al said. “I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for any of them. I would be gone."

Al has only been out of the hospital for three weeks.

Doctors said the glue on Al's heart is temporary and eventually will go away as he heals. 

Al has to keep an LVAD heart machine on him at all times, but doctors said aside from checkups every three to four months, he will be doing just fine.

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