Overcoming Health Obstacles
Not even health challenges can keep a good man down. At age 74, Charles Seitz has retired twice, but you won't find him on a golf course or in a rocking chair. As chief of the North Penn Goodwill Service, he attends emergency calls throughout the region-providing hot food, coffee, and comfort to police officers and firefighters. Or you might catch him delivering Meals on Wheels or driving the bus for Generations of Indian Valley.
Health issues have sometimes threatened to slow Charles down. He's had heart bypass surgery twice and continues to see cardiologist Todd Alderfer, MD. Orthopaedic surgeon Paul Weidner, MD, replaced his right hip in 2009 and his left hip this past March. Surgeon David Rilling, MD, repaired a hernia in June 2010, and vascular surgeon Arthur Flatau, MD, repaired an abdominal aortic aneurysm in January 2011.
Having several health concerns requires specialists to work together and determine priorities. "A symptomatic aneurysm is life-threatening and must be addressed immediately," Dr. Flatau said. "If the aneurysm is not showing symptoms but needs to be repaired, as with Mr. Seitz, then we need to make sure his heart is strong enough for anesthesia.
"All vascular patients are prone to heart issues, so a cardiologist is usually involved in their care," Dr. Flatau added. "If a patient is referred from his primary-care physician, I'll involve a cardiologist to be sure he's strong enough for surgery. Mr. Seitz was referred by Dr. Alderfer, so I knew he was cleared. We were able to do an endovascular aneurysm repair, and he was home the next day."
Dr. Weidner also consulted with Charles' cardiovascular specialists before his hip surgery, and together they recommended hip replacement six weeks after his aneurysm repair. Charles worked hard at his rehabilitation and was back to doing everything he loves in three months.
Even in the midst of tackling health challenges, Charles never misses Monday nights with his family. After 30 years, Charles and his wife, Elaine, still host gatherings with their children and grandchildren. Charles noted, "I couldn't have gotten through everything without Elaine. She takes good care of us all."
Source: Annual Report 2011