Expertise, Compassion and Kindness
On a Saturday night in May 2013, 78-year-old Albany resident Antonio Bongiorno had severe stomach pain and began vomiting blood. His worried family called 911.
“When the ambulance arrived, the EMT said he should go to Albany Med even though it wasn’t the closest hospital,” said Mr. Bongiorno’s daughter Debra.
It was a decision that likely saved Mr. Bongiorno’s life.
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Once in Albany Med’s Emergency Department, he was examined by a specialist -- a gastroenterologist -- who diagnosed angiodysplasia, a condition in which blood vessels tear easily causing severe internal bleeding. He recommended immediate surgery, where two tears were discovered and repaired.
“Not all hospitals have the specialists my father needed available on a weekend night,” Debra pointed out. “If we went elsewhere, he might have died waiting for the right doctor to see him in the morning.”
A native of Italy, Mr. Bongiorno speaks very little English. “But Albany Med was willing to get him a translator,” his daughter said. “They were so kind. They didn’t ignore him. They spoke directly to him, and we helped translate. They made him feel very comfortable; they explained every step of his care.”
That patient care extended until the day he was discharged when all Mr. Bongiorno wanted for breakfast was a tuna fish sandwich; his nurse made sure he got it.
“It’s a joy to see him now. He’s doing marvelous. He’ll be back in his garden as soon as the weather allows,” his daughter said. “They took such good care of my dad, and paid attention to the little things that made his stay easier. We are so grateful.”