Heart Month Patient Story: Lucille

Lucille Murphy was feeling fortunate that she could celebrate her 88th birthday. A mother, a grandmother, and an avid golfer, Lucille was determined to commemorate an eventful year. She had been struggling with heart problems, but a visit to the South Coast Region to see family proved significant to better heart health. And celebrate, she did with not one, but two cosmopolitans.

Lucille recalled, “One day in May, I really felt bad, and my heart seemed to be pounding oddly.” She checked in with her local urgent care center in Florida, where she lived. She was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib). Despite treatment, Lucille continued to struggle on-and-off, having good days, and days she would describe as feeling ‘lousy.’ However, she felt compelled to put her discomfort aside and take her yearly trip to Rhode Island.

“One of my granddaughters was getting married in August, and my other granddaughter was graduating in July and becoming a Physician’s Assistant… I was determined to make the trip,” Lucille shared.

Early in her stay, Lucille awoke one-night feeling ill and physically distressed. Luckily, she was surrounded by family who worked in healthcare. Lucille’s son, Dan Murphy, Manager of Echo Services here at Southcoast Health, quickly aided in her care with help from the rest of her family.

Lucille was taken to Southcoast Health’s Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River and admitted.

“They treated me really nicely,” she said. “The doctor checked me thoroughly.” Soon after, she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. A diagnosis that could stifle many people has had a different effect on Lucille. Laughing, she remarked, “Sounds worse than it is, believe me. I live well, I feel good, and I’m thankful I have a good life.”

With proper medical attention and guidance from Southcoast Health’s Cardiology Team, Lucille receives a continuum of care that follows her back to Florida. There, she can be at home with family and friends while continuing treatment with Southcoast physicians, staying informed, and, most importantly, remaining optimistic.

Lucille remarked, “I have a great outlook. I’m back to playing golf three days a week. I go for walks, and I have a lot of friends. I keep myself busy.” Lucille credits Southcoast Health for its clinical thoroughness, compassion, solid after-care plan, and positive overall patient experience.