Tube City Community Media Inc. is seeking freelance writers to help cover city council, news and feature stories in McKeesport, Duquesne, White Oak and the neighboring communities. High school and college students seeking work experience are encouraged to apply; we are willing to work with students who need credit toward class assignments. Please send cover letter, resume, two writing samples and the name of a reference (an employer, supervisor, teacher, etc. -- not a relative) to tubecitytiger@gmail.com.

To place your ad, email tubecitytiger@gmail.com.
Ads start at $1 per day, minimum seven days.

After Near-Fatal Heart Attack, Man Returns to Thank Hospital

By Charlotte Hopkins
The Tube City Almanac
August 14, 2018
Posted in: McKeesport and Region News

Paul Glover (third from left) stands with a few of the staff members that oversaw his care at UPMC McKeesport hospital, including Robyn Stawinski; Rani Kumar, emergency department medical director; and David Courson, emergency department unit director. (Charlotte Hopkins photo special to Tube City Almanac)

Paul Glover was watching a basketball game with his girlfriend, Deanna Shannon, and eating Chinese food when he started to experience an uncomfortable feeling in his chest.

He told her he was going to lie down in bed. "No," Shannon said: We're going to the hospital.

Glover was having a heart attack. Moments after he arrived at the emergency room at UPMC McKeesport, his heart stopped. Doctors and nurses had to restart it three times, he said.

On Friday, two months after the incident, Glover came back to the hospital to meet with the doctors, nurses and staff. “I owe you guys my life, I appreciate you from the bottom of my healed heart,” he said.

“I appreciate everything, everything that you guys have done for me and that is why I am here now,” Glover said. “I had to be here this morning just to say thank you. It's hard to say something more than thank you. But if there were words to say more than thank you, then those are the words that I would use for you all.”

Emergency room staff seldom get to hear the outcome of their patients' health once they have returned home, said Dr. Rani Kumar, medical director of the hospital's emergency department.

Kumar said that for many years, she's told her staff that kindness is "so important" when treating patients: Rest your hand on them, look them in the eye when they talk, listen and respond, always with kindness.

And to do it genuinely, she tells them, because the patients deserve that.

Glover said he'll never forget that his girlfriend also was instrumental in saving his life.

“I tell her everyday, that without her getting me to you guys I wouldn't be here,” he said. “She could have just said, well, you'll be alright, we'll leave it alone until the morning. But she got me here, in 4.5 miles and all green lights.”

On the night of the heart attack, Glover, who turned 55 on July 18, said he tried to keep watching the basketball game. He tried to stop thinking about it, even as he kept feeling worse and worse.

Shannon thought at first he might be having a reaction to the food they were eating --- especially when Glover vomited. But then Glover started to sweat profusely. When they reached the hospital, Glover went into cardiac arrest and was rushed into the back.

Laurie Rieger, manager of cardiovascular services at UPMC East and UPMC McKeesport, shows Paul Glover video footage of the damage inside his heart on the night that he arrived. (Charlotte Hopkins photo)

Emergency department nurse Tim Stash said that when he first met Glover, he thought he might be in the wrong room, because his patient looked young and healthy.

“That educates all of us that what happened to you, it can happen to anybody,” Stash said to him.

He thanked Glover for coming back to visit with the hospital staff.

“It's so often that we take care of patients and we don't get to see the outcome," Stash said. "There are highs and lows on the job but this is something that we will never ever forget.”

Glover asked for a group photo to save, stating ”I will never forget you guys, you all are my family.” Back Row: Robyn Stawinski, Amanda Jiricka, Brittany Grabowsky, Paul Glover, Meghan Godish, David Courson. Front Row: Alexandra Wackenhuth, Rani Kumar, Sarah Timer, Kathie Mckenna, Laurie Rieger, Dawndra Jones. Kneeling: Tim Stash

Glover is no stranger to the operating room. In 1985, he had sternum surgery and was in a military hospital for more than 50 days.

But the care he received at UPMC McKeesport was "extraordinarily better," he said.

“It doesn't even compare, period, to the level of professionalism that I received here," Glover said. "Whatever, you all are doing, don't stop. Don't change. You all are the best in my eyes and can't nobody touch you.”

Dawndra Jones, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services for the hospital, said she was proud of the staff, and pleased that Glover felt strongly enough about the care he received to come back and share his story.

“I wish that I knew the reason that (God) brought me or kept me here," Glover said. "I wish I knew. I pray on it all the time and I ask, what is my purpose now?"

Glover joked that he has already made one change in his life: He's sworn off eating any more shrimp lo mein.

Charlotte Hopkins is a freelance writer. She may be reached at domyno83@yahoo.com.

Originally published August 14, 2018.

In other news:
"Rain Dampens Opening …" || "Church Hosts Flea Mar…"