Bill & Sharon Pinney: Heart Disease

To: Dr. Scott Sharkey and those privileged to work with him and be treated by him.

Dr. Sharkey was my husband’s cardiologist for many years and was seen at the New Prague hospital. His skill, humor, and trait of going above and beyond what was expected and seeing the whole patient put him at the top of our list for what a perfect physician should be.

We arrived at our appointment and Dr. Sharkey immediately asked, “What’s wrong with him?” He had lost 40 pounds in a short period of time and his BUN was high. My husband told him that he thought he had histoplasmosis, but the local physician said that no one gets that anymore. Dr. Sharkey sat down, asked a few questions and pondered my husband’s face and said, “Let’s get a test done.” He had the lab come up and explained how to draw and test for this uncommonly done test. The third time it came back, the infectious disease doctor said that he couldn’t have it again because of all the treatment he previously had. Again, at a Dr. Sharkey visit, he pondered his face and said, “Let’s get a test done.” Again, it was a positive and Dr. Sharkey had gone above and beyond what was expected because he saw the urgency of a very sick man before him.

On another cardiac visit, my husband was just recovering from pneumonia. I told Dr. Sharkey that I didn’t think his lungs sounded good and that I had called the kidney doctor’s office and had a concern that his return flow from home dialysis was down. He listened to his chest and ordered a chest x-ray. One lung was full of fluid because the coughing had torn a hole in the diaphragm. He did a quick ‘phone-a-friend’ to a pulmonologist in Waconia and arranged to have the fluid drawn off that afternoon. He even gave us the directions to get to Waconia from new Prague! Once again, he went above and beyond in order to find immediate care for a very sick man.

Bill was hospitalized at several Twin Cities hospitals and each time a cardiologist asked who his cardiologist was, Bill would hear a sound of respect and a chuckle for the sense of humor that was always part of Dr. Sharkey.

In remembering Dr. Sharkey, I should remember the cardiac care, but I can only remember one event. Bill was at the point of needing oxygen and the spirometer didn’t test low enough. He walked him in the hall and it still didn’t go down enough. Then he said, “Run, Bill, Run.” Bill was very frail and had several strokes. He started to laugh and Dr. Sharkey laughed. He still didn’t get the oxygen.

My husband passed away in 2006, but I still remember Dr. Sharkey as a physician by whom all the others should be measured.

Thank you, Dr. Sharkey.

With great gratitude,
Sharon Pinney

Give the Gift of Hope
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The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, we are dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

Thanks to the generosity of donors like you, we can continue this life-saving work. Please make a gift to support the area of greatest need.

Research Milestone: FDA approves device used as alternative to open-heart

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Triclip team

We are honored to celebrate the culmination of years of research that has resulted in new technologies for patients! In the few last weeks, we announced a similar research milestone with the FDA approval of the TriClip system for tricuspid regurgitation. We celebrated this important milestone with local media KSTP-TV, who spotlighted the importance of this new technology. We were proud to be a leading clinical site led by Global PI Dr. Paul Sorajja and the MHIF research team who contributed significant data to the pivotal trial.