The story in Wednesday's Maui News detailing the lifesaving heart surgery performed on 2nd Circuit Judge Richard Bissen illustrated again that there are bona fide heroes in our midst.
On April 19 during an angiogram, doctors at Maui Memorial Medical Center discovered a 95 percent blockage of his left main coronary artery. Interventional cardiologist Dr. Colin Lee stopped the test and had Bissen taken immediately to surgery.
Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Michael Dang immediately performed triple bypass surgery on the judge and saved his life.
"I was supposed to die on April 19. These guys saved my life. It's that simple. They were ready and waiting and knew what to do," Bissen told The Maui News. "I have played that day back many, many times. I see it as a complete gift. It was incredible."
Maui Memorial is the only hospital on the Neighbor Islands equipped to perform heart surgery. Dr. Dang and his fellow cardiac surgeon Dr. Tracy Dorheim will perform around 100 such surgeries at Maui Memorial this year.
Bissen said he was at first reluctant to talk about himself but became convinced that people on Maui need to know about the great resource we have here.
"All I wanted to emphasize is we have a great facility here with great administrators and great doctors and staff," Bissen told the newspaper. "The lives that these men and women working there will save are our friends and relatives. They will probably save - since I have such a big family - one of my relatives.
"I don't think enough people know about this. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't be alive today."
Stories like Judge Bissen's need to be told and shared. It is important to be reminded that there are heroes at Maui Memorial ready to save us when we need them.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.