A Heart Full of Hope

Lee Hoaglan came to Cleveland and trusted his heart to Dr. Pettersson

Turned down by other doctors, and told he would not live to see Christmas, a New York man found hope at the Cleveland Clinic. 

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Lee Hoaglan from Seneca County underwent four open heart surgeries before coming to Cleveland Clinic. Hoaglan was suffering from progressive heart failure and was in hospice care as doctors in New York felt he was too weak to attempt another surgery.

“It was upsetting, but being in health care a lot of my life, I learned to accept it,” said Hoaglan, who was a paramedic with Monroe Ambulance for nearly 30 years.

Still having hope, Lee Hoaglan trusted his heart to Cleveland Clinic.

After receiving Hoaglan’s medical file, cardiothoracic surgeon Gosta Pettersson, MD, PhD, called Hoaglan personally. “This is my destiny in life: to try to help people who other surgeons don’t think they want to help or think that they can’t help anymore,” Pettersson said.

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Hoaglan said he felt he could either live in hospice or “attempt something” and take a chance. Still having hope, he came to Cleveland and trusted his heart to Pettersson.

Hoaglan had a leaky aortic valve, a leaky mitral valve and problems with his reconstructed coronary arteries. The high-risk, 5-hour surgery Petterson performed was to take all that apart and rebuild it again. After a successful surgery, Hoaglan continues to recover and build his strength.

“The clinic pays me, but that’s not the reward,”  Dr.  Pettersson said. “Helping patients live a longer, better life is the true reward.” 

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In the news

Watch Lee Hoaglan’s interview on WHEC.com


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