Healthy You - Every Day

Beating Heart Disease and Backing Nursing Education

Sandy Adams and Sanjay Mehta

The year 2020 was challenging for everyone, but Sandy Adams, 77, had an especially rough go of it. After undergoing an aortic valve replacement in November 2019, Sandy landed back in the hospital the following May.

“I was in pretty bad shape,” says the retired art teacher and volunteer from Easton. Adams then spent a month at Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH)–Muhlenberg, before ultimately undergoing open heart surgery in August 2020 for another valve replacement. “As far as I’m concerned, Dr. Mehta saved my life,” Sandy says. She is referring to Sanjay Mehta, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon with Lehigh Valley Heart and Vascular Institute who, with his medical team, performed both of her cardiac surgeries.

“Dr. Mehta is the perfect combination of empathy and professionalism. I could ask him questions about my condition, and he would take time to thoroughly answer them,” Sandy says. “And with my complicated  medical situation, he had to be innovative. There were problems, but I went along for the ride. I was never leery or apprehensive of my heart surgery. That’s how safe I felt with him. Uppermost, I felt he will handle this. He knows what he’s doing.”

Sandy is now back to enjoying an active lifestyle, which includes spending time outside and cleaning her house. In gratitude, Sandy and her husband, Charles, made a gift to open the Sanjay Mehta Fund for Nursing Education.

The fund helps nurses finance their continuing education and professional development courses, which are required to keep up to date on the latest advances in care and treatment.

“After being in the hospital for a month, I got to know the nurses pretty well. I had excellent care. By creating the Sanjay Mehta Fund for Nursing Education, we wanted to do something for Dr. Mehta and the nursing staff that would show our appreciation,” Sandy says. “I’m not easily impressed by people, but I have the utmost respect for Dr. Mehta and his staff. He is really a special person, and I think the world of him.”

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