Township Woman Thanks RWJUH Medical Staff Who Saved Her Life

D'Ambra Reunion at Hospital - 7

Tamara D’Ambra, second from right, speaks to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital staff accompanied by (left to right) her son Nicholas, daughter Melissa, son Vito Jr. and husband, Vito.

A township woman stopped by Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick Aug. 5 for a reunion of sorts.

Tamara D’Ambra, accompanied by her mother, husband and three children, wanted to say “thank you” to the hospital’s Mobile Health Services and medical staff who helped save her life in June. D’Ambra, 44, suffered a major heart attack at home on June 13.

Smiling and laughing, D’Ambra hugged many of the medical professionals who brought her into the hospital and worked on her, from the EMTS and paramedics, to the doctor who eventually inserted a stent in her.

D’Ambra had to be revived three times in the ambulance during her trip to the hospital, and then four more times once in RWJUH.

“And here I am, I’m ok, I’m doing well,” she told the staff.

“It takes a special person to do what you do,” she said. “You parents must be so proud of you.”

D’Ambra said she thought that many of their families might not understand what they do during their long shifts at work.

“Tell them,” she said. “You save lives.”

“You brought me back to my kids,” she said.

D’Ambra said she regarded her recovery as “a second chance.”

“Everything is different,” she said. “It’s a new beginning, every hug feels different.”

Donald Roberts, director of the hospital’s Mobile Health Service, said the success the unit had with D’Ambra, as with other patients, comes as a result of integration among the clinical staff, the EMTs and the paramedics.

“All of this comes from us working together as a family,” he said.

D'Ambra Reunion at Hospital - 4

Tamara D’Ambra hugs Dr. Alpesh Patel, who inserted a stent in her after her June heart attack.

Dr. Alpesh Patel, the cardiologist who gave D’Ambra her stent, said it was nice to see other members of the team.

“Lots of times in health care, we do what we’re supposed to do, but we don’t get to thank everyone involved,” he said.

D’Ambra’s husband, Vito, also thanked Dr. Patel for keeping him informed about what was going on with his wife.

In addition her husband, D’Ambra had in tow her mother, Maureen Polaski of Clark, her daughter, Melissa and her sons, Vito Jr. and Nicholas.

“I don’t know how you guys know not to give up, but you didn’t,” D’Ambra said. “We thank you for that.”

“I hope you all continue doing what you do because there are a lot of people after me who will need it,” she said.


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