Mercy Interventional Cardiologist Ahmed Sabe, MD, believes we serve God best when we are doing good things.
The lights on the ambulance siren flashed a bright yellow, and the siren blared a shrill cry as it pulled into the emergency entrance to Mercy Medical Center. A desperate buzzing sound went off on the pager of the interventional cardiologist while overhead the words, “Cardiac care, emergency department,” could be heard throughout the hospital.
The patient was quickly transported to the emergency department cardiac catheterization lab, where the interventional cardiologist and cath lab team were waiting. Within five minutes of arrival, the cardiologist opened the occluded coronary artery and inserted a stent. As the patient’s vital signs quieted and the heart returned to a normal pace, the cardiac team took a deep breath and looked at one another in relief knowing that another life had been saved at the hospital’s front door.
Every 43 seconds, someone in America is having a heart attack, and many of those will subsequently die from that heart attack. Studies have shown that there is an excellent chance of saving the life of a heart attack patient if heart care is given within 90 minutes from onset of the attack.
That fact is what spurred Ahmed A. El Ghamry Sabe, M.D., who was training to become an interventional cardiologist in the late 1980’s, to envision the possibility of bringing heart-care procedures to the emergency room. This vision stemmed from a deep faith belief that God had called him to help people and to save lives.
“God gives wisdom to individuals to be shared with others,” Sabe said. “God gives us talents that need to be used to produce good things in life.”
Sabe believes this higher power takes on a father role across most faith perspectives. He concludes, then, that humans are God’s children. He also believes this love of the Father is unconditional.
“God loves his children, despite a bad attitude or if they make mistakes,” said Sabe. “He wants to help his children.” Although he believes prayer softens the heart to hear from God, he is adamant in the belief that we serve God the best when we are doing good things.
As an interventional cardiologist, Sabe joined Mercy in 1995 and currently serves as the executive director of Mercy Cardiovascular Institute. During his time at Mercy, Sabe has been privileged to help Mercy achieve many firsts in heart care. Some of the most notable achievements for Mercy include holding the world record for performing angioplasty in the emergency room in only five minutes from a patient entering the front door to balloon of the artery.
Moreover, Mercy’s Emergency Chest Pain Center (ECPC) became the nation’s first fully-accredited chest pain center by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, and Mercy is the first hospital to have an accredited state-of-the-art cardiac cath lab in the emergency department. Mercy is the only Stark County hospital ever named among the Top 50 Best Heart Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. Mercy is also the first hospital nationally to perform percutaneous bypass in the emergency department in order to resuscitate cardiac arrest patients.
“It is a beautiful thing!” exclaimed Sabe, as he shared his appreciation of the faith mission of Mercy Medical Center. “You know that God’s children are going to be treated well when an institution holds to a faith mission.”
When asked about his thoughts on suffering, Sabe said that it is up to God to decide when we are born and when we will die. However, he has been called to use his God-given talents to help his patients have the best quality of life while they are here.
Every patient is a child of God.
Sabe said, “When I look at my patients, I don’t see a white patient or an African-American patient; I don’t see a young man or an old woman; I don’t see a rich person or a poor person. I see one of God’s children I am here to serve.”
Sabe was born in Egypt and completed his undergraduate degree from the University Of Cairo Faculty of Medicine. His post-graduate education comes from several universities, including Harvard Medical School. Before coming to Mercy Medical Center, Sabe served as an interventional cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and was director of Interventional Cardiology at Pennsylvania State University’s Milton Hershey Medical Center. He has three children who have all become physicians, as well.
Sabe’s passion for his faith beliefs and what he does can be summed up in his statement, “This hospital is an amazing place to take care of God’s children. I am not surprised that 167 years ago the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine went into health care because the most effective and shortest way to touch the Father is to help his sick children.”
Article by Mary Beth Breda for Mercy Medical Center’s Tapestry publication, second quarter 2018.