'That could have been my demise:' Bed-Stuy man credits cardiologist for saving his life

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A Bed-Stuy resident says a routine check-up with his cardiologist may have saved his life.

Kerry Streets, 66, had stents put into his heart about a decade ago, but hasn't had problems since. When he visited his doctor about a year ago, he figured out something was wrong.

"I noticed when we were talking he just didn't seem to have the same energy level when I asked my usual questions," says Dr. Joseph Puma.

Puma, of Mount Sinai, ran some tests and recommended Streets cancel his trip to visit his grandchildren in Seattle. The doctor told Streets he should have open heart surgery.

Puma told him that the pumping function of his heart was down to about 15 to 20% below normal. He says when it gets below 35%, people become at risk for sudden rhythm abnormalities of the heart that can cause what's called "sudden cardiac death."

Streets tells News 12 that Puma saved his life.

"That could have been my demise," Streets say. "I'm grateful and blessed and thankful."

Puma says women and people with diabetes don't always show usual symptoms of heart disease, which is why he recommends everyone see their doctors on a regular basis.

His patient says he now feels the strongest he has in a number of years.

Streets missed his trip to visit his grandchilden, but made it to Seattle once he recovered. He says he is now looking forward to many more good years with them to come.

 

 

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