Five years ago, Norm Breen got the call that would save his life. It was 3 a.m. when Dr. Leway Chen phoned to tell Norm a heart was available for transplant. By 10 a.m., Dr. Todd Massey arrived at Strong Memorial Hospital with the heart he had personally retrieved from the Midwest that morning, and Norm's transplant was under way.
Just two and a half weeks later, Norm was discharged, and since then, he has achieved his goal of not returning to Strong—at least not as an admitted patient. He has been back plenty of times as a volunteer, however.
Through this experience, the couple gained a tremendous appreciation for the doctors and staff who treated Norm, including cardiologists Dr. Chen and Dr. Jeffrey Alexis. "The doctors and staff are all excellent, and we can't say enough about them," says Phyllis. "Norm is alive today because of them. The amazing thing is that a facility like this is in Rochester, and we didn't have to go to Cleveland or somewhere far away. We are truly blessed beyond measure."