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‘If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t be here today’

Happy Reunion: Patient Andrea Wheaton (third from left) with ExpressCare team members Ana Miranda, MA, Jenny Evans, PA, and George Summerlin, MA.

Waking on the morning of May 19th, out of breath and heart racing, Andrea Wheaton knew she needed medical attention. Looking back on it now, the 62-year-old Registered Nurse sheepishly admits that she should have called an ambulance, but ExpressCare was just down the street from her North Andover home. She drove.

“The receptionist took one look at me,” she says. “I guess my color was terrible. Someone came immediately out of the clinic and took me in, I was never even checked in.”

Front-line staff are watchful for potentially life-threatening situations, says Garrett Bomba, MD, Medical Director of ExpressCare.

“Any patient is brought immediately back to the doctor,” he says, “if they present with signs of distress, or tell us that they have any symptoms that suggest a more serious condition.”

It’s a policy that Andrea credits with saving her life.

Medical Assistant George Summerlin brought Andrea into Room 12, took her vitals and triaged her, immediately alerting Physician Assistant Jenny Evans.

“I found Andrea short of breath and sweaty,” Jenny recalls, “…and her vitals were abnormal – we were concerned she had lung or heart problem that needed to be emergently addressed. Because her vitals were abnormal we did an EKG, which wasn’t normal either. We gave her some aspirin just in case she was having a heart event. Her oxygen was low so I was thinking pneumonia, but her lungs were clear. She’d had recent surgery we were worried about a lung clot, having no idea that the clot was as big as it turned out to be.”

“She agreed to go to the hospital,” Jenny continues, “and that was the last we heard of her until she came to see me. She came in after she was discharged, before an appointment with Dr. Goldman. She told me what had happened and thanked me.”

“When I got to Lawrence General,” Andrea says, “The back pressure from the lung was so bad, they thought I was having a heart attack. They called Dr. (Seth) Bilazarian, who did a D Dimer – a test for blood clots then they sent me to for a CT scan. My right lung completely occluded by blood clots, and the left was down to 25 percent clear.”

“As a nurse,“ Andrea says, “I’ve seen people die from just one blood clot. The clotting I had was massive. I realized how serious this was when the hospital had my daughter come in to co-sign a living will, DNR and health care proxy.”

Andrea stopped in at ExpressCare recently to say hello and have her photo taken with some of the staff who helped her back in May. She said she was returning to work the next day.

“I just can’t say enough about the way I was cared for at ExpressCare,” says Andrea. “Right from the front staff… I never felt like they were interested in money, just making sure I’d be OK… all the way to Jenny – if had not been for them, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Eye Injury Prevention

Sight is one of our most trusted senses. 2,000 eye injuries occur every day and 90% of all of these injuries can be prevented by the use of protective eye wear to shield eyes from potential flying objects, fumes, dust, sparks or splashing chemicals. Protect your eyes and the eyes of your children with these simple reminders.

Use protective eye wear, especially when:

  • using hammers, power tools, or chemicals
  • welding
  • using household chemicals like bleach and other cleaners
  • always read labels carefully and work in a well ventilated area
  • while playing sports such as racquetball, paintball, lacrosse and hockey
  • when mowing the lawn, trimming or edging
  • while blowing leaves or sweeping


Be careful when opening bottles under pressure like a bottle of champagne, and avoid splashing while cooking with hot oils and other fluids.


Supervise children’s use of tools and toys. Pencils, scissors, knives, paperclips, bungee cords, wire hangers, rubber bands, fishhooks and small / flying toys can be dangerous. Teach children how to safely carry sharp objects, to never point flying toys at another person, and to never play with laser pointers!


And finally, always remember to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays by wearing broad-rimmed hats and/or sunglasses.


Staying Safe in the Summer Sun!

When the temperatures rise and we are exposed to extreme heat and humidity, our bodies lose the ability to cool themselves down. This may lead to dehydration and heat-related illness. Heat-related illness includes:

heat cramps

painful cramps, muscle spasms and sweating

Treat with hydration, seeking a cool environment and halting any strenuous activity.

heat exhaustion

heavy sweating, nausea, weakness or dizziness, muscle cramping

Treat by getting into a cooler environment with a fan if available, remove bulky or tight clothing, utilize cool compresses or spray cool mist on skin and hydrate.

heat stroke

sweating may or not occur at this point because of significant dehydration; altered mental status

This is a medical emergency and the affected person must be taken to the hospital immediately. Call 911.

Extreme heat tips

  • Always use protective sunblock.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. If you are working outside, drink 2-4 glasses of cool water every hour. Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Seek shade or cooler areas if you start to get hot.
  • Wear lightweight, light colored , loose fitting clothing.
  • Limit your outdoor activity and sun exposure.
  • Remember never leave a child or a pet in a parked car! It takes less than 2 minutes for a car’s temperature to rise to an unsafe level.

People at greater risk for heat-related illness are:

  • infants/young children and the elderly
  • people with high blood pressure, heart disease or a fever
  • people with obesity
  • people with mental illness
  • people who use drugs and alcohol

Why Use an Urgent Care?

Why Use an Urgent Care?

by Garrett Bomba, MD

None of us like getting sick or injured. We also don’t like waiting or paying more than we should. Everyone has a story about a 3 hour wait in an Emergency Department waiting room, or about that $2200 bill from the hospital after being seen for back pain. Urgent Care was born out of these issues.

Many conditions seen within emergency departments are not life threatening and do not require most of the sophisticated equipment and facilities offered there. Whether you have back pain or a broken bone, a sore throat or a cough, ExpressCare urgent care is always a great option. With an average wait time of 15 minutes in the waiting room, Pentucket’s urgent care system can evaluate, diagnose and treat many common conditions and have you on your way in less than an hour! Speed up your visit time by signing into our waiting room online and we will hold a spot for you.

Common Conditions Evaluated at ExpressCare:

We also charge only an office level visit so you can say goodbye to those $100 ER copays! We are staffed with a professional team that has access to lab, x-ray, CAT scan, MRI and ultrasound, making it easy for us to make the right diagnosis.

So if you ever have a medical issue that is not life threatening, please visit ExpressCare at Pentucket Medical and start getting well faster!

Please Note: If you experience a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.

Medical emergencies include:

  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Abdominal pain
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Psychiatric issues
  • Children less than 3 months old with a fever over 100.4
  • Stroke-like symptoms
  • Weakness / numbness / confusion
  • Difficulty with speech, vision or balance
  • Severe headache