In the US, one in four Americans die of heart disease every year1. In Napa County, it is the second leading cause of death2. Thanks to the kindness of strangers, skilled emergency responders and
Queen of the Valley Medical Center’s (QVMC) recently designated
Blue Cross Blue ShieldBlue Distinction Center
for Cardiac Care—a 44-year-old Napa resident lived to tell his story.
Boris Guillome was watching previews at the Century Napa Theatre when he
felt a tightness in his chest. He staggered to the lobby where a maintenance
custodian from the theatre helped him to a bench, then everything went black.
Serendipitously, Sean Reiswig decided at the last minute to take his family
to the movies that day. He saw Guillome fall to the floor. Reiswig’s
own father had died from a heart attack exactly two weeks earlier. He
knew the signs, symptoms—and most importantly—how he could
help. While the theater’s maintenance custodian called 911, Reiswig
checked Boris for breathing, rolled him on to his back and began CPR.
“It was surreal. Things aligned that day,” said Reiswig.
Napa City Fire Department paramedics arrived minutes later and contacted
QVMC’s Gasser Emergency Department (ED) while resuscitating Guillome
by shocking his heart with an assisted external defibrillator (AED) and
conducting an ECG. Forty-eight minutes after he arrived at QVMC—and
90 minutes after he collapsed—St. Joseph Health Medical Group Cardiologist,
Andrew Wong, M.D. had performed an emergency angiogram, placed a stent
and stabilized the patient.
As a designated STEMI-receiving center, QVMC meets and exceeds the national
standard of 90 minutes for ‘door to balloon time’ (the time
a patient arrives in the ED to the time the stent is placed to open the
“That 90-minute window is critically important,” said Dr. Wong.
“The faster a physician can restore vital blood flow, the less likelihood
there is of long-term damage to the heart muscle. The patient has the
best chance of a full recovery and optimal outcomes when we beat the clock.”
In this case, QVMC provided this care nearly twice as quickly as the national
benchmark. Earlier this year, QVMC’s cardiac team was recognized
with the Blue Cross Blue Shield
Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac
Care for delivering safe and effective cardiac care, focusing on the procedure
Guillome had--percutaneous coronary interventions (angioplasty with stent)—as
well as cardiac valve surgery, coronary artery bypass graft.
“This recognition distinguishes our cardiac center as an exceptional
place to receive care when you have a heart attack or go into cardiac
arrest,” said Larry Coomes, Chief Executive at QVMC. “Our
talented care providers are dedicated to helping patients have the best
Queen of the Valley offers CPR classes throughout the year to Napa community
members. For upcoming classes, visit