Easton Cardiovascular Patient Stories
Missing the Beat
If being a police officer can be stressful, imagine being the chief. Larry Palmer has served as an officer for 26 years. For 16 of those years, he’s been the chief. “It can be a stressful career,” he says. “The stressors are different when you are behind the desk instead of on the beat.” On this day, Larry seemed sullen because two officers in Mississippi had been gunned down. Larry was almost taken down, too. Not by a criminal, but by his heart. In 2010, he had a heart attack.
Janine DeRogatis is a relationship builder. Literally, that is her title at a local Bank of America branch. So she is good at providing direction, answering questions and making people feel comfortable. Her natural ability to engage people comes as no surprise from a woman who dedicated her life to her family by running a household and raising two sons and a daughter.
Following One's Heart
Dale and Cathy Naute have been married for twentyfour years. She met Dale thanks to her job as a hairstylist. She was cutting Dale’s co-worker’s hair when he promised to set her up with a guy he found “nice enough” for her. Dale was that guy. She’s been trimming Dale’s hair since and acting as his health advocate. Dale needed one too. His heart was racing.
Living the Dream: Staying Young at Heart
Chuck and Doris Walter stare at each other like it’s their first date. It’s one of their rules for a happy marriage. It must be working since they have celebrated 40 years together. “We are having a great retirement,” says Chuck. They live a life of adventure, riding trail bikes, paddling kayaks and exploring the back country in their Jeep. This past summer they traveled through China for two weeks. Coming up is a river cruise in Europe. “We are growing old together and having fun while doing it.”
Eat Your Heart Out
Louis Wood was nicknamed “Bones” by his family in grade school because “he ate like a horse but was only skin and bones.” It was only after he turned 35-years-old that the food began to stick
to his bones. Around the same time his heart started to fall out of rhythm. Louis remembers he was at a work physical when the doctor looked surprised while listening through the stethoscope. “That doctor first asked if I drove here,” Louis says. “Then he asked if I had a cardiologist.” The next day, Louis had an appointment with Koroush Khalighi, MD, an independent member of the Easton Hospital medical staff.
Agree to Disagree
Michael “Ed” Perrino and his wife Michelina have lived in the Lehigh Valley for 20 years. “It’s been the coldest 20 years of my life,” Mike says. Michelina just rolls her eyes. They have been married 60 years. “That’s why he’s still alive,” she says. To which, he guffaws. They bicker like an old married couple, mostly because they are. Mike is nearly 86. “I don’t consider myself geriatric,” he says. “Age is just a number; what matters more is how you enjoy life.”
Ace of Hearts
David Reyes has been waiting for years to be dealt one good card — something to help change his hand. His hard luck started as a 6 year-old when his father died of heart disease at age 32. Not long afterward his mother’s neglect and battle with drugs left him and his four brothers as wards of the state. Over the course of the next decade, David lived in 60 foster homes, 15 respite homes, 3 group homes and 2 shelters. He survived physical abuse, sexual assaults and rotten parenting. During this time, he had little to no contact with his brothers.
Listening to Her Heart
After graduating high school, Katherine Malia moved from Wilson Borough to Berkley in San Francisco during the summer of 1969. The city was at the height of free-love, war protests and civil rights riots. She let all of that pass her by as she focused on going to college and starting an accounting job. Much later, she also missed the big 1989 earthquake that shook the city.
The Heart of a Champion
When the vein on Coach Frank Tavani’s forehead starts popping out during a game, you know he’s about to blow a gasket. But passion, fire and energy are required on the gridiron. Maybe that’s why the Lafayette Leopards football program has been so successful under his tenure: four Patriot League Championships and trips to the NCAA playoffs. With 15 years as head coach and 27 years with the program, stress and pressure come with the job.
The Beat Goes On
At 88 years old, Dirby Kober says she’s lived two lifetimes. It’s easy to understand why she’d think that. She was born in Wisconsin but moved to Montreal, Canada, after her father, a chemist, died in a mining accident in South Africa. She came to New Jersey in junior high and then spent her high school years in Ohio and Texas. By this time, she could speak English, French and German. As a young woman she worked as an assistant in a pediatrician’s office, a casings inspector in an ammunitions factory during World War II and learned Swedish massage.