Ami’s Story: “It was a life-changing experience”

March 3, 2023 started out as a perfectly normal day for Ahmad Touseef, who goes by ‘Ami’. He had just gotten to work at the Children’s Aid Society, when around 9:30am the first symptoms started

to hit him. “I was stuffy, restless and a bit out of breath. I don’t have a family doctor, so I decided to

go to the clinic at IDA to get checked out.”

At IDA, Ami met with a physician through a telemedicine service. A nurse at IDA took his blood pressure: it came up 230/170 (very high!). At first they thought it was an error – but after retaking the test several times, he was told to go to Sault Area Hospital immediately.

Ami (Ahmad) Touseef is pictured with his wife Shiny (Shreyasi) Panda

“My wife, who was a nursing student at Sault College at the time, thought we’d be in and out.” Ami was assessed by a triage nurse at SAH quickly, and he was taken into imaging.

Ami had an echocardiogram (ECG), contrast CT and chest x-ray, along with bloodwork – all so his care team could see exactly what was causing his high blood pressure. “The nurse came back and told me I was in hypertensive crisis, and that I’d be in there for some time.”

Ami was moved to a room, and was hooked up to a monitor assessing his vitals. Nurses checked in on him regularly to note any changes. After an overnight stay, Ami was taken up to the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

In the lab, Ami’s care team determined that two of the arteries feeding his heart were diseased and the other two showed minor disease. The Interventional Cardiologist on duty, Dr. Bakar, performed a procedure called “balloon angioplasty” – where a small balloon is inflated to open up blocked arteries.

“I was awake for the procedure, and obviously quite anxious, but Dr. Bakar was so calming and talked me through it to keep me relaxed.”

Less than 24 hours after arriving at Sault Area Hospital, Ami had a diagnosis and treatment. “Everything seemed to be like a well-oiled machine. Lots of moving parts in this care process, but everyone was exactly where they needed to be and doing the right thing. The staff was incredible and they worked so well.”

After his angioplasty, members of the care team took the time to speak with Ami, “I was eager to ask questions and know what happened to me. Everyone listened to truly understand what I

needed, and how to give that to me. That listening, that gift, was amazing. The doctors, the nurses and other staff were my superheroes. I loved the fact that people took time to listen to me.”

Knowing that Ami’s stressful work conditions and other factors could keep him from sticking to his treatment plan, Ami and his wife requested additional resources. “The staff addressed my concerns. They connected me to a nutritionist, a counselor, and a cardiac rehab therapist.” With

support, Ami worked with his care team to create a ‘return to work’ plan that would ensure he didn’t end up back in the hospital again.

Today, Ami is feeling much better, and continues his diet plan, medications and rehab. He’s now back to work full-time and is conscious of maintaining this lifestyle. “I’m 30 years old, not the traditional demographic for heart problems. I feel so indebted to the hospital, every experience I had A to Z felt so perfect, like it was out of a movie.”

Community support was part of Ami’s care – from imaging equipment, to vital signs monitors and so much more. Our team had the tools to provide the best possible care for Ami, thanks to generous donors.

“I want to tell donors: Your support makes a difference – I saw that with my own experience. Without the support of donors, there’s no way our dedicated staff would have the tools to be able to do the excellent work they do.”

Support upcoming needs today and make outstanding care possible at Sault Area Hospital.