Datta, Florida HeartWorks Give Patients Hope

By  //  November 5, 2013

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ABOVE VIDEO: Christina Datta and her fellow members of the Melbourne-based team of eight medical professionals just got back from a medical mission trip to Lima. The Florida HeartWorks team, in addition to Datta, consists of Respiratory Therapist Mary Lamontagne, Surgical nurse/first assistant Marie Bloch, ICU nurse Patti Carberry, Surgical perfusionist/ICU nurse Nichole Bernhardt, Anesthesiologist/ intensivist Dr. Mario Camps, Interventional cardiologist/Intensivist Dr. Cesar Jara and Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Michael Greene.

The team, self-dubbed “Florida HeartWorks,” in addition to Datta, consists of Respiratory Therapist Mary Lamontagne, Surgical nurse/first assistant Marie Bloch, ICU nurse Patti Carberry, Surgical perfusionist/ICU nurse Nichole Bernhardt, Anesthesiologist/ intensivist Dr. Mario Camps, Interventional cardiologist/Intensivist Dr. Cesar Jara and Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Michael Greene.

Some folks with broken hearts just mope and feel sorry for themselves.

DATTA-HEART-WORKS-388Others, like Christina Datta and her Florida HeartWorks team members, channel their pain and personal suffering to help others.

The Melbourne nurse’s heart broke, literally, after pneumonia she contracted at age seven left her with endocarditis, an infection that damaged her tricuspid valve.

Datta managed to lead a normal life until a few years ago, when, with three children under the age of four, she discovered her heart was leaking and severely enlarged. Open heart surgery was needed.

While undergoing treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Datta decided she was going to use her experience to help others cope with heart issues.

“I thought I should be doing something,” she said.

Christina Datta discovered the existence of Mended Hearts, a national organization that provides hope and support to heart patients and their families, and promptly joined the Melbourne chapter.

Christina Datta discovered the existence of Mended Hearts, a national organization that provides hope and support to heart patients and their families, and promptly joined the Melbourne chapter.

She discovered the existence of Mended Hearts, a national organization that provides hope and support to heart patients and their families, and promptly joined the Melbourne chapter.

The unique perspective of being heart surgery survivors is invaluable in the effectiveness of Mended Hearts volunteers like Datta.

“All the volunteers have had open heart surgery, like me,” said Datta.

Dr. Michael Greene

Dr. Michael Greene

Unlike many of the volunteers, however, Datta is very young and in the medical field. Her background gives her additional ammunition as she visits with the pre and post-op heart patients at Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center.

“Christina has been a tremendous asset,” said cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Michael Greene, who referred Datta to the Chicago hospital for her surgery.

“She has a kind and gentle heart and places others before herself.”

DEVELOPS SPECIAL BOND

Depression can accompany heart disease, making healing more difficult. Helping patients cope with the emotional roller coaster of heart disease diagnosis and treatment can result in better outcomes for the patient.

Christina Datta and her fellow members, including Dr. Cesar Jara, of the Melbourne-based team of eight medical professionals just got back from a medical mission trip to Lima, Peru. The team worked in coordination with the Peruvian American Medical Society (PAMS) to provide cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology procedures to needy patients.

Christina Datta and her fellow members, including Dr. Cesar Jara, of the Melbourne-based team of eight medical professionals just got back from a medical mission trip to Lima, Peru. The team worked in coordination with the Peruvian American Medical Society (PAMS) to provide cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology procedures to needy patients.

“It’s very easy to become depressed with heart disease,” said Datta. “I tell patients I’ve been where they are.”

Because she has been in their shoes, Datta develops a special bond with patients to help them during a very difficult time in their lives. Her words shine the light at the end of the tunnel.

Beyond her work with Mended Hearts, Datta wanted to up the ante in helping the community. A friend mentioned the Peruvian American Medical Society, or PAMS, a group of healthcare professionals who donate their time to assist Peru’s poorest villages. Datta wanted in.

“A friend of mine knew a doctor from her church who had gone on medical missions to Peru,” explained Datta.

As it turned out, the physician was Datta’s own cardiologist, Dr. Cesar Jara. As part of a PAMS mission, Datta worked with a team that provided health screenings and basic medical services to 1,000 children in shanty towns near Lima.

“There is so much need for these missions,” she said.

FLORIDA HEARTWORKS

Christina and her fellow members of the Melbourne-based team of eight medical professionals just got back from a medical mission trip to Lima. The team worked in coordination with the Peruvian American Medical Society (PAMS) to provide cardiac surgery and interventional cardiology procedures to needy patients.

The Florida HeartWorks team, in addition to Christina Datta (above), consists of Respiratory Therapist Mary Lamontagne, Surgical nurse/first assistant Marie Bloch, ICU nurse Patti Carberry, Surgical perfusionist/ICU nurse Nichole Bernhardt, Anesthesiologist/ intensivist Dr. Mario Camps, Interventional cardiologist/Intensivist Dr. Cesar Jara and Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Michael Greene.

The Florida HeartWorks team, in addition to Christina Datta (above), consists of Respiratory Therapist Mary Lamontagne, Surgical nurse/first assistant Marie Bloch, ICU nurse Patti Carberry, Surgical perfusionist/ICU nurse Nichole Bernhardt, Anesthesiologist/ intensivist Dr. Mario Camps, Interventional cardiologist/Intensivist Dr. Cesar Jara and Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Michael Greene.

The team, self-dubbed “Florida HeartWorks,” in addition to Datta, consists of Respiratory Therapist Mary Lamontagne, Surgical nurse/first assistant Marie Bloch, ICU nurse Patti Carberry, Surgical perfusionist/ICU nurse Nichole Bernhardt, Anesthesiologist/ intensivist Dr. Mario Camps, Interventional cardiologist/Intensivist Dr. Cesar Jara and Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Michael Greene.

“In developing countries like Peru there are very few government programs available to assist the uninsured with heart disease,” said Datta.

“We can donate and provide lifesaving surgical services these Peruvian patients could never afford.”

 GIVING PATIENTS HOPE

Christina  also continues her work with Mended Hearts, and, after a stint as a stay-at-home mom, has returned to work, choosing a position in cardiac critical care at Holmes Regional Medical Center’s Heart Center.

“When I’m not working, I’ll go in to talk to the patients and give them hope,” she said.

ABOUT THE 2013 CENTRAL FLORIDA HUMANITARIAN AWARDS

CFHA-SPONSORS-200-1The Central Florida Humanitarian Awards were created to recognize outstanding individuals and organizations that dedicate their Time, Talent or Treasure to help people in need locally – and around the world. 

This year, more than 30 deserving humanitarians will be honored during the Gala, which will be held Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, with the festivities beginning at 6 p.m.

“Over the years, our editorial team has had the distinct honor and pleasure of identifying and featuring the many members of our community who give back so much and are dedicated to reaching out and helping others, here and throughout the world, in a multitude of ways,” said Maverick Multimedia Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jim Palermo.

All Humanitarian alumni are presented a specially commissioned medallion.

“We remain firmly committed to identifying and telling those stories and providing a timely media platform to recognize Space Coast and Central Florida residents’ altruistic contributions on a regular basis in our magazines, as well as SpaceCoastDaily.com,” said Dr. Palermo.

This inspiring and compelling event is sponsored by Brighthouse Networks, Health First, Brevard Physicians Network, Florida Pain, Forever Florida, MPAC ACO, Brevard Geriatrics, Community Credit Union, Clear Choice Health Care, Knudson Brain & Spine Law Injury Office, First Choice Medical Group, Space Coast Medicine & Active Living magazine, CentralFloridaMedicine.com and SpaceCoastDaily.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to make a reservation to attend the Central Florida Humanitarian Awards Gala call 321-615-8111 or e-mail SpaceCoastMedicine@gmail.com.


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