Cardiology Team Gives Mother of Seven, Opera Vocalist Something to Sing About
Published June 2010
Dorothy Hines is no stranger to talent.
Hines, 86—a College–Conservatory of Music graduate and Cincinnati-known opera singer who, along with her husband, Eugene, sang with the Music Drama Guild and at venues around town for years—says even though she’s been a vocalist her entire life, that is not what comes to mind as her greatest achievement.
"At one of my high school reunions, they asked all of us to go around and state what we are most proud of in our lives,” says the Cincinnati native.
"For me, it is being a mother to my seven wonderful children.”
This Mother’s Day could have been a sad occasion for all of Hines’ children if it hadn’t been for the life-saving procedures administered by UC Health cardiologists.
It all started with a funny feeling Hines had after finishing practice for an Easter program with her church choir in early April.
"I felt lightheaded and thought I was going to black out,” she says, but adds that she just thought she had exerted herself too much singing.
Hines had also been having trouble eating but attributed her upset stomach to indigestion.
When the lightheadedness continued into the following week, Hines says she knew something was truly wrong.
She called her daughter, Lisa Underhill, who rushed over to drive her mother to the hospital.
However, Underhill only made it as far as the Hyde Park Fire Station because she felt a sense of urgency.
After checking her vitals, rescue personnel made the decision: Hines needed to go to the hospital immediately.
At UC Health University Hospital, she was evaluated and was found to have a total of three artery blockages—one large artery in her heart, one in her kidney and one in her stomach.
"Narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the intestine causes mesenteric ischemia, or an artery blockage in the stomach,” says Massoud Leesar, MD, Hines’ cardiologist at University Hospital.
"Mesenteric artery ischemia is often seen in people who have hardening of the arteries in other parts of the body. It can also be caused by a blood clot that moves through the blood and suddenly blocks one of the mesenteric arteries. The clots usually come from the heart or the aorta.”
Leesar says that in Hines’ case, it was an especially delicate situation because of the severity and number of the blockages as well as the patient’s age.
First, Hines received emergency cardiac angioplasty to open up the artery in her heart with the use of three stents and intravascular ultrasound, which would allow the other procedures to be done safely.
After recovering, she received stents in her renal and stomach arteries on April 23.
By the following week, Hines was right back to her normal self again.
"I’m so pleased with the care I’ve received at UC,” she says. "I can’t thank Dr. Leesar and the whole UC team enough.”
And Hines’ family agrees.
"It’s a miracle, really,” says Underhill, smiling. "We’re so happy she’s here.”