Jeff Stump
Cumberland, Maryland
Repair of Severely Regurgitated Mitrovalve

When Jeff Stump became short of breath doing everyday things around the house, he assumed it was just part of getting older.  Once simple tasks like carrying baskets of laundry now required him to take breaks and catch his breath.

When the time came for him to go overseas with his National Guard Unit, he was startled to find that he did not pass his physical.

“I was supposed to go to Iraq with my National Guard unit and that’s when they found it.  I failed my physical and they sent me for more tests.  They sent me to Dr. Kullkarni and he told me I wasn’t going anywhere,” he said.

“Dr. Kullkarni really sat me down and took me step by step with what was going on.  He showed me everything and that’s what really woke me up.  He wanted Dr. Nelson to look at me.  He told me I had severe regurgitation of my mitrovalve.  I saw Dr. Nelson in August and had the surgery in October.”

Mr. Stump holds Dr. Nelson in a high regard and said that if he ever needs cardiac surgery again, he would come to Dr. Nelson in a heartbeat.

During his stay in the Cardiovascular Unit, he never experienced a problem or wanted for anything.  He stated that the nurses were always checking on him and were very responsive to the call button. 

Mr. Stump recommends WMHS to anyone.  He said that over the years he has been with several family members as they received cardiac care at other facilities.

“I’ve seen other Heart Units around the region and state and WMHS is top notch compared to them,” he said.  When asked what advice he would give to people facing heart surgery, Stump recommends first and foremost to listen and follow the instructions that the doctors and nurses give you.  He also said watching what you eat and taking care of yourself is crucial.

Since the surgery, Mr. Stump has been able to get back to his old activities like coaching middle school basketball and working out. 

“I’m running up and down the basketball court coaching 8th graders.  I work out 2-3 days a week.  I have a gym in my garage,” he noted.

“I come back about 4-5 months to see the nurses.  They tell me to walk in anytime I want to.  It’s been over a year and they still remember me.  They’re awesome people.  They saved my life.”



Jim Ritchie - Lonaconing, MD
Coronary artery bypass and heart valve replacement

“When choosing where to have my surgery, I did some research online but I found that WMHS had a good reputation and that their rate of infection was less then at the large city hospitals.  The whole team was top-notch.  I don’t have one complaint.  It is certainly possible that in 15-20 years I will have to have my heart valve replaced since I chose a tissue valve, but I hope Dr. Nelson is around when that’s needed.  I’ll be back.”


Gene Hyatt - Cumberland, MD
Emergency Heart Attack Treatment and Coronary Artery Bypass

“When I came in to the hospital I was in cardiac arrest.  They had the cardiac team waiting for me as soon as I arrived (by ambulance).  Thank goodness for Dr. Mahal.  He took me to the cath lab right away and I owe my life to him.  About four days later, I had four bypasses done and I don’t think you can praise Dr. Nelson enough.  He’s one-of-a-kind.  I am grateful that we have such a great open heart surgery program here.  If I would have had to be sent out of town, I don’t think I would have made it.”


Reese Fowler, Jr. - Frostburg, MD
Coronary Artery Bypass

“From the moment I arrived until the moment I left, I was treated to a level of service and excellence the like of which I have never seen before and likely never will again.  I have received medical care at other institutions and the staff at these organizations couldn’t hold a candle to the staff at WMHS.  I can think of no higher praise than to say that I would rather have the staff at WMHS work on me than anyone else in the world.  I am convinced that I would not be writing this letter if not for them.”