Linda Moser

heart surgery interventional cardiology fletcher allen

"I was surprised to learn that I'd had a heart attack."

Linda Moser's days typically begin with a brisk walk around her Underhill property, followed by a busy day preparing and serving food at a Jericho restaurant. Two years ago, her morning walk was interrupted when she began feeling chest pressure and pain radiating down her arms.

At first, she thought it was related to her atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm that Fletcher Allen cardiologist, Christopher Terrien, M.D., was helping her manage. But, as the day went on, the symptoms persisted.

That evening, her husband, Frank, took her to Fletcher Allen's Emergency Department where she learned that she had suffered a heart attack.

"The doctors and nurses told me if I hadn't come in when I did, then I might not have been here the next day," said Linda. "I was surprised because I always take walks and am careful what I eat."

Linda's doctors determined that the best course of treatment was to insert two stents - small metal tubes which support the inner wall of an artery in order to maintain blood flow.

But there was an unexpected development during Linda's procedure.

While in the cardiac catheterization laboratory Linda's arteries collapsed. She needed emergency bypass surgery, to be performed by Fletcher Allen heart surgeon, Frank Ittleman, M.D.

"It was frightening because it all happened so fast," Linda said. "But I felt confident that everything would be okay."

According to Dr. Terrien, it is extremely rare for a stenting procedure not to work and for emergency surgery to be required. But Dr. Terrien explains that's why, at Fletcher Allen, we always have a surgical team at the ready for unusual cases such as these.

"Linda has truly benefited from the comprehensive advanced-level care we offer as an academic medical center," said Dr. Terrien. "From the emergency department team, to the surgical team, to the ongoing care she receives for her irregular heart rhythm. It's gratifying to know that every day, as an organization, we make real differences in the lives of people like Linda."

Linda's surgery was a success, and today, she is back to her early-morning walks and busy days on the job. "I feel great," she says. "The only difference now is that when I get too stressed, I find ways to relax."