It was late summer and Diane was arriving at Bon Secours Heart & Vascular Institute for what she thought was just a routine office visit. But as soon as she walked through the door, the staff noticed she was very ill and would require immediate attention.

After observing Diane in a patient room, her cardiologist, Dr. Sabharwal, informed her that they would need to call an ambulance to take her to Bon Secours St. Mary’s.

Remarkably, at her insistence, Diane actually drove herself to the hospital. Sometime later that night, with no recollection of what happened in between, she recalls coming to while on life support in the intensive care unit at St. Mary’s.

“I was stunned and frightened,” she says. “Because I didn’t anticipate waking up in an intensive care unit. And then I guess the sunlight came in that next morning and Dr. Sabharwal came in. And right then I felt at peace, because there was my doctor.”

It turns out Diane was suffering from a myriad of medical issues, including pneumonia, congestive heart failure, blood clotting in her leg and two leaky heart valves. A team of doctors and nurses had worked around the clock to stabilize her condition.

Today, a healthy Diane tears up when she reflects on the whole experience.

“St. Mary’s… they were amazing. I can’t say enough about them. Every single person that came to do something for me treated me with respect and compassion. If I hadn’t received the type of care I received in the hospital, I would have left two wonderful sons alone.”

For Diane, good help is compassionate care — and Dr. Sabharwal.

“What comes to mind is a picture of Dr. Sabharwal. It really does. The kind of care I got from him and his staff… I’m in awe.”