WEST PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — One of the major goals of the American Red Cross Northeastern Pennsylvania chapter is to collect life-saving blood.
The need to fulfill this mission became personal recently for the man who oversees that chapter’s mission. Thursday marked exactly four weeks from when the wife of the American Red Cross Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter Executive Director underwent an emergency lifesaving operation. Her successful procedure and recovery wouldn’t be possible without unselfish blood donors.
“I just take a step trying to keep my heart rate at a normal rate,” said 62-year-old Jannet Goldsworthy, who is back on her feet and working on her post-surgery recovery at home.
She ended up on this path because of something she was feeling every so often.
“Just a pressure just pressing on the left side of my chest as if someone was pushing a hand on it,” Mrs. Goldsworthy said.
While the sensation usually wasn’t drastic, it felt worse on December 19th. Mrs. Goldsworthy’s husband, Bill, took her to the hospital where doctors determined she had a blockage.
“About a 10 percent blockage,” she said.
She underwent a heart catheterization but what no one saw coming was a weakness exploited by the minimally invasive procedure.
“I got a severe pain right across the top of my chest and nauseated, losing color,” said Mrs. Goldsworthy who had suffered an aortic dissection: a life-threatening condition caused by a tear in the wall of a major artery carrying blood out of her heart.
She underwent immediate open-heart surgery. She required a dozen units of donated blood products.
“You don’t realize until something this drastic happens that how important the donations of blood are,” she said.
As executive director of the American Red Cross Northeastern Pennsylvania chapter, Mr. Goldsworthy works to encourage blood donations. This time, those donations hit home.
“You never know when a family friend, family, friend or a loved one needs, needs blood. And thankfully it was there, readily available,” Mr. Goldsworthy said.
And without those donations, Mrs. Goldsworthy said “I don’t know where I’d be right now. So, I am so grateful.”
Mrs. Goldsworthy will continue at-home therapy until late March before beginning cardiac rehab.