Patient Praises Hospital Staff for Responsiveness During Urgent Situation

July 3, 2024

Mark MattisMark Mattis, 66, of Lakewood Ranch, a U.S. Air Force veteran and former sales executive, was enjoying his retirement, biking, golfing, taking walks and working on to-do-list tasks for his wife of 40 years. Then, suddenly, on October 26, 2023, he began to experience breathlessness.

He nearly collapsed upon arrival to his primary care doctor’s office a few days later. After receiving an EKG with concerning results, his doctor confirmed there was no wait time at the freestanding emergency department, ER at Fruitville, and instructed Mattis to go there for additional testing and care.

Mattis was seen immediately at the ER at Fruitville*, where he received oxygen and a CT scan. He was diagnosed with a saddle pulmonary embolism, a rare, life-threatening condition that occurs when a large blood clot gets stuck in the main pulmonary artery, restricting blood flow. Mattis was taken by ambulance to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, where he would have an endovascular thrombectomy, a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove the clot, performed by Amit Bhakoo, M.D., vascular/interventional radiologist.

“They gave me my quality of life back.”

Mattis reports a big difference following the procedure. “I was able to breathe again,” he says. “I really appreciated how they took care of my wife, too. She was very concerned.  Dr. Bhakoo used a computer to show my wife the procedure. This was helpful to the conversations that my wife and I would later have about the experience.”

What Mattis appreciated most was the sense of urgency by both the ER at Fruitville and hospital staff in their delivery of care, while also conveying professionalism and reassurance. "I felt I was in good hands,” says Mattis.

*In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. ER at Fruitville is part of Lakewood Ranch Medical Center. This is not an urgent care center. Its services and care are billed at hospital emergency department rates.