Published: August 14, 2012
Antiques dealer Paul J. DeCoste is home making a good recovery from a nearly ten-hour-long heart operation on August 1 at Mass General Hospital in Boston.
“I’m actually lucky. I’m up and around and I want to state that I am so pleased with how many friends in the business took the time out to call me, write me, to send me books and send me everything under the sun. They were great; it made me feel very pleased,” Paul said.
Suffering from congestive heart failure where his lungs would fill up with fluid, making breathing difficult, Paul recently had a serious episode where he could not catch his breath, which led to a battery of tests and a diagnosis. He underwent triple-bypass surgery in addition to surgery on an artery in his leg, a slice in his upper chest from being on a heart-and-lung machine and installation of a cow valve in his heart. While Paul did not say if he has a sudden hankering for milk, he joked that “I moo.” Doctors also removed a small snippet at the end of his heart, in an area prone to causing clots, which they described as “an appendage he didn’t need.”
He is hopeful that between the new valve and the snipping away at his heart, his atrial fibrillation (A-fib) will also resolve itself, so he will not have to take blood thinner medication anymore. He is taking his recovery slow and hoping to get back to doing shows again, but may take a break from shows this fall. “I haven’t made up my mind. I’m taking it day by day and seeing how it goes,” he said.
Buying, though, has not slowed down and in fact, in the hospital’s ICU, Paul used his smart phone to shop auctions, buying a wonderful barometer and an eagle plaque, much to the amusement of the doctors. Arranging for pickup was a bit more complicated, but with his network of friends, we are sure it all worked out just fine.
The hospital staff was so surprised by Paul’s exuberance, saying he was the “most chipper guy going into the hospital for heart surgery,” that they asked if they could do a study on him. The study included biochemistry tests as well as measuring his level of social interactions. In one day, 41 people, not including medical staff, either called or visited him in the hospital. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “A man’s growth is seen in the successive choirs of his friends.”
If you would like to pay a call on Paul, he would be happy to hear from you; 978-363-1420.
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