View More Stories
Share this page:
Sections

Dorothy (dor'-uh-thee)

Body

This story is about Dorothy—a world-traveling nonagenarian who doesn’t have time to be slowed down by Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), a narrowing of the arteries that limits blood flow. PAD can cause cramping, pain and tiredness—symptoms all experienced by Dorothy. People with PAD also have a much higher risk of heart attack or stroke, and without the right treatment, it can lead to serious complications. Over the course of five years, Dorothy underwent seven procedures, but nothing seemed to work. She was getting discouraged: frequent appointments without the results to show for it. So, in 2010, she took matters into her own hands and started searching for a vascular surgeon and a better approach.

Dorothy found an osteopathic doctor and cardiologist who was developing pioneering techniques for treatment at El Camino Hospital. He estimated that Dorothy had 95% blockage in one artery and recommended angioplasty surgery. After undergoing surgery, Dorothy now has stents from her knees to her hips—and some much-needed relief from her discomfort. “Now I only have to go for a check-up twice a year, which is good,” she says happily.

Her experience had been so good at El Camino Hospital that Dorothy came back when the time came to have her hip replaced. Without hesitation, she says, El Camino Hospital has been very good to me.” In November 2015, Dorothy came back again to El Camino Hospital to have another angioplasty done.

Dorothy’s appetite for travel took her to China, Canada, and Hawaii in 2015. Where her passport might take her next is hard to say. But for dealing with PAD, her destination will always be El Camino Hospital.