Ida Rhames, 71, was out on a celebratory lunch with her staff on November 15, 2018. After eating some chicken at a fast-food restaurant, Rhames felt a sharp pain in her chest. Convinced her discomfort was related to previous gallbladder problems, she drove to the Emergency Room at Broward Health Imperial Point.
"Not three minutes had gone by and I was inside a treatment room," Rhames said. "Four clinicians, were there by my side taking care of me and explaining everything in detail. I never had to wonder what was being done."
Because her pain had now spread to her throat and teeth, emergency staff suspected her condition was not related to her gallbladder. They called Broward Health Imperial Point cardiologist Mammen Zachariah, M.D., who has treated Rhames for more than 10 years.
"I learned in med school to always listen to the patient," said Zachariah. "He or she will tell you the diagnosis. Due to Ida's previous history with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, I knew the best way to proceed was performing a cardiac catheterization."
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure to examine how well the heart is working, which can help identify blocked arteries.
After Zachariah performed the cardiac procedure, Rhames was transferred to Broward Health Medical Center, where a coronary stent was placed to open up the blood supply to her heart. This all happened within 24 hours.
"The trip to the ER was on a Thursday," said Rhames. "That following Monday I was back at work."
Today, Rhames feels great. She is taking her medication, going on her follow-up visits and, most importantly, she's back to being fully dedicated to her business.
"It was a very intimidating experience," Rhames said. "It made me well aware of all my vulnerabilities when before I had felt invincible. I'm so grateful to all the caring staff who were with me throughout the entire process."