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Multiple heart attacks don’t slow down 82-year-old former Inspira employee.

Jul 5, 2024

A little voice told me ‘You better call an ambulance.’

Rosalind Jackson

Rosalind Jackson is not someone who lets much of anything get in her way. Not age, hard work, or difficult situations, like, say, two serious heart attacks, ten years apart.

Rosalind, who says, “Everybody calls me Roz”, worked in the kitchen at Inspira Woodbury, formerly Underwood-Memorial Hospital, for 16 years. She retired in 2016 at age 75, but was soon back in the workforce at her current job as a receptionist at a nursing facility.

Now 82, Rosalind said that working in health care settings, and her connection to Inspira, have saved her life more than once.

 “Back in late 2013, I was home, decorating my Christmas tree,” she said, “when I felt some burning pains in my chest. For some reason I thought it was pneumonia. I went to the hospital’s family clinic for employees and that’s where I saw Kathy.”

Kathy is Kathleen Curtis, A.P.N., who has worked in multiple positions at Inspira and was covering the clinic that day.

“She told me, ‘Roz I can’t let you go home. You need to go to the emergency room to get checked out. Then she called ahead and told them I was coming in.”

Rosalind said that when she got to the emergency department, “everything happened so fast.”

Interventional cardiologist Ali Unwala, M.D., was waiting for her arrival. She was assessed and taken to the catheterization lab, where he placed four cardiac stents. Rosalind had experienced a particularly serious type of heart attack commonly called an acute myocardial infarction or AMI. Interventional cardiologist Kurt Kaulback, M.D., was also involved with her care.

An AMI is a life-threatening condition in which at least one of the coronary arteries is often completely blocked.

“That was quite a surprise to me,” Rosalind said. “It’s a good thing Kathy didn’t let me go home.”

After a couple weeks of recuperation, Rosalind returned to work at the hospital.

In June, 2023, Rosalind was once again in her living room when she felt a somewhat familiar pain.

“I thought I had indigestion or something and was thinking about just lying down for a nap. Luckily, I remembered what Kathy told me ten years earlier. A little voice inside me said, ‘You better call an ambulance, Roz’. That scared me a bit, so I dialed 911.”

An EMS team from Inspira assessed Rosalind and transported her to Inspira Medical Center Mullica Hill.

“When I got to the hospital, the doors opened up and there was Dr. Kaulback and his team waiting for me,” Rosalind said. “I wasn’t scared anymore. I thought, ‘This is my lucky day!’ Every one of them is part of a team and knows, without speaking, what they are supposed to do. They move with such precision! I’ve never seen anything like it.”

This time Rosalind had three stents placed by Dr. Kaulback.

“The things that doctors and nurses do today are modern miracles,” Rosalind said. “I am so glad to be living in this time. My mother died of a heart attack in the 1960s. She was only 54 years old.”

One of the first things Rosalind asked Dr. Kaulback was how soon she could go back to work.

“He laughed and said to one of the other people in the room, ‘That’s her generation!’”

She said that the care she received as a patient has deepened the appreciation she already had for health care professionals from her years as a hospital employee.

“I trained many years ago to be a hairdresser and that was hard to learn,” she said. “What these people have to sacrifice and how hard they work every day is amazing. You could not accomplish that if you weren’t dedicated. I think about Dr. Kaulback all the time and the things that people like him and other health care professionals might miss so they can take care of people like me.”

Rosalind is once again back at work at her reception desk. She said she wants to thank her entire care team, which also included her regular cardiologist, M. Scott Dawson, M.D., as well as Dr. Unwala, for their professionalism and dedication to saving lives.

“All my doctors are at Inspira and it’s the only place I want to go. I am happy being in my generation, but the new generation there saved my life – twice. Those people are heroes to me.”

Drs. Kurt Kaulback, Ali Unwala and M. Scott Dawson are member providers of Cooper and Inspira Cardiac Care.

Topics: Cardiology & Heart Health