Dr. Vossoughian

84 years old
Retired Physician, Internal Medicine

Chest pain and discomfort awoke Ahad Vossoughian, MD, at 5 a.m. on a Saturday. A retired physician, Dr. Vossoughian understood the implication – he was having a heart attack.

The intensity of the pain made walking difficult. He crawled across his bedroom floor and made his way to the staircase, staring at what seemed an insurmountable obstacle – fifteen steps between Dr. Vossoughian and the nearest telephone.

“I didn’t know how to get down those steps,” he said.

Home alone with his 94-year-old mother-in-law, he was completely isolated. He dug deep into his resolve and slid down the steps on his back before crawling to the phone to dial 9-1-1.


Over Dr. Vossoughian’s next few critical hours at SLCH’s Center for Cardiac Care, Drs. Ahmad Hadid and Ahmad B. Hadid inserted an intra-aortic balloon pump to circulate blood and oxygen to the heart and other major organs. Then they performed emergency angioplasty to clear a 100 percent blockage of a major artery and inserted two stents to keep it from closing. The total time from Dr. Vossoughian’s arrival to the clearing of the blockage was better than the state and national standard of 90 minutes.

“I can’t express how much I appreciate that we had that cardiac facility nearby,” said Dr. Vossoughian, who years earlier had opposed SLCH’s efforts to establish a catheterization lab.

“Dr. Vossoughian was very sick when he got here,” said Margaret Deyo-Allers, Director of the Center for Cardiac Care. “I’m not sure he would have made it without our intervention.”

The Center for Cardiac Care was designed to diagnose cardiac illness, intervene in cardiac emergencies with stent and angioplasty procedures and, if need be, stabilize patients before transferring them to facilities with more specialized cardiac care. Such was the case with Dr. Vossoughian.

Dr. Vossoughian is a well-known and respected internist, having served on staff at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital from 1970 until his retirement in 2004. He remembers the days when St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital’s Newburgh campus was a small hospital with a modest-sized medical staff. Today, he is amazed at the evolution of the Newburgh and Cornwall campuses, the breadth of services available at each and the size and skill level of the medical staff.

“I was so impressed by how quickly they pulled everything together,” he said. “It felt as if, within 15 or 20 minutes (of my arrival), the cardiologists were ready for action. Obviously, I’m very happy. That facility saved my life.”