Brian Browne

“I had just turned 50 and went out for a casual jog,” recalled Brian Browne. “Suddenly, I felt chest pains I’d never had before.” In June of 2021, the avid runner from West Hempstead, NY, did not immediately seek medical treatment until he developed a case of shingles a few days later. An angiogram was immediately scheduled and revealed major blockages in three arteries.

Shocked by the news, one thought kept Brian going: “We have access to great health care here on Long Island.”  

Brian was treated at St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® in Roslyn, NY, where Roberto Colangelo, MD, Catholic Health Cardiologist, performed coronary artery bypass (CABG) surgery. In the procedure, the cardiac surgeon uses a portion, or graft, of a patient's veins or arteries to create a new source of blood flow around blocked coronary arteries. 

Browne admitted he was scared. “At Catholic Health, everybody wants to help you and wants to see you improve,” he said. “They tell you this is a common surgery. I’d never spent a night in the hospital before, but they all made it very easy for me.” Brian knew that he was receiving the best level of cardiac care—as the Society of Thoracic Surgeons had once again awarded St Francis three stars for coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

Brian added that he was encouraged when one of his doctors advised: “You’re a young guy; you have a lot of time ahead of you; you just have to do your part.”

So, at that moment, Brian decided that after his recovery, he would recommit himself to running regularly and decided to run his first marathon. “I figured the doctors at Catholic Health did their part; I’m going to do mine.”

In October 2023, Brian honored his pledge by running in the Catholic Health Suffolk County Marathon. As Catholic Health sponsors the annual event, Brian felt his participation was all the more meaningful. “Catholic Health was there when I needed them, and there every step of my way back,” he said.

Brian crossed the finish line to the cheers of his wife and family. He is now working to raise awareness and to help others beat heart disease. “Go to the doctor, get your check-ups, and don’t ignore the signs,” he said.

St. Francis Hospital & Heart Center® is Long Island’s safest, most-awarded heart program. The flagship of Catholic Health, Long Island’s only faith-based health care system, St. Francis is consistently ranked as one of the best hospitals in the nation for Cardiology & Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report.  In 2023, Catholic Health’s St. Francis Hospital and Heart Center® was awarded the nationally recognized  HeartCARE Center™ designation by The American College of Cardiology (ACC), the only ACC HeartCARE™ Center designation in the area, including the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island and Westchester.  

Learn more about cardiac surgery at St. Francis Heart Center.

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