Rockville Mayor Phyllis Marcuccio was especially happy to return to work during the City Council’s first meeting of the new year on Monday. Marcuccio offered “a shout-out to Suburban Hospital" and the medical staff that saved her after her heart stopped during a visit for what was to be a routine procedure on Thursday.
Marcuccio said that she went to the hospital as “an ordinary patient” for angioplasty—a procedure to open narrow arteries and restore blood flow to the heart.
“It was routine, except for me,” Marcuccio said. “And if it wasn’t for the tremendous effort of that operating room team, you would have another mayor here tonight. It’s a shout-out to them all. They put me in the best possible shape. I’m back.”
Marcuccio, who had no prior heart issues, had a stress test just before the holidays, she said in a telephone interview Tuesday. A doctor detected an anomaly in her heart and recommended angioplasty. Usually the procedure is done in the morning and the patient goes home in the evening, Marcuccio explained.
On Thursday, doctors discovered that Marcuccio needed a stent to relieve an artery that was more blocked than initially thought. During the procedure, “My heart said ‘Hey what are you doing in here?’” Marcuccio recounted by phone.
She was "out" for about 90 seconds, she said. She learned later that it took nine shocks from a defibrillator to stabilize her heartbeat.
Marcuccio said she shared her experience because “I wanted people to realize that they should take care of themselves and that they have a fine hospital right down the road there.”
Click here, and forward to the 22:10 mark, to view Marcuccio's statement during Monday's meeting.
“[The stent]’s not very big—only 18 by three-and-a-half millimeters, if you can imagine something so tiny—but indeed did make the difference in my being here,” Marcuccio said during the meeting. “So it’s a shout-out to Suburban and the wonderful team of doctors and nurses that took great care of me. And thank you so very much.”
“I think we should clap,” Councilwoman Bridget Donnell Newton said.
The council did.
“I feel that way too,” Marcuccio said.