Frank and Jacqui Goble, with Dr. Ayesha Ahhmed and Dr. Wassim Diab, at Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Frank Goble loves the Big Apple. So it was a no-brainer for the 73-year-old Briton to spend the July 4 holiday in our fair city. But their stay had a nightmarish coda that could have ended in tragedy had it not been for the prompt, topnotch care Goble received at Staten Island University Hospital.
Goble and his wife, Jacqui, both of West Sussex, had wrapped up their five-day visit -- complete with Broadway shows and dinners with friends -- on July 6 and boarded the Queen Mary 2 for their passage home.
Goble, who has had medical issues, suddenly took ill. "He was lying on the bed and he was blue," recounted Jacqui Goble, 66, last night in her husband's room in the Ocean Breeze hospital. "Everything was racing through my mind."
Ship's personnel responded immediately to her call for help, with the captain even turning the QM2 right around toward the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge so Goble could get medical care. The U.S. Coast Guard also responded and took the couple via cutter from the boat.
At University Hospital, Goble was installed in the coronary care unit, where he was treated by Drs. Tahir Shirani and Wassim Diab, along with a host of staff. Dr. Diab diagnosed severe congestive heart failure. Goble's organs began to shut down. Fortunately, "we caught it in the reversible phase, so we were able to get the kidney and liver functions back to normal," said Dr. Diab. Had Goble not gotten to the hospital when he did, he would have been dead "in hours," Dr. Diab said.
The couple, wed 42 years, found out that Goble has kidney problems, anemia and might even need a nebulizer. "I prayed a lot," said Goble, who never lost consciousness throughout his ordeal. "I've been very lucky. You hope your luck will hold out -- and it did."
The couple expressed gratitude for the care they received at SIUH. They also thanked Islanders for their friendliness, especially at the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield, where Mrs. Goble stayed.
The couple will head home tonight. Ms. Noble said they "learned a lot of lessons, but would not stop traveling." "We will make it less stressful," she said. "Five days in New York City was too stressful."