‘Listen to your body.’ Heart patient from Saugerties reunites with doctors who saved his life

Lorenzo Beronilla spent 87 days total in the hospital. Now, he has a new lease on life.

Emily Young

Jun 24, 2024, 9:48 PM

Updated 21 days ago

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Lorenzo Beronilla is an actor from Saugerties. He’s been in countless commercials and movies, but the hardest role of his life has been heart patient.
On Monday, he was reunited with the medical team at Westchester Medical Center that gave him his life back.
Beronilla says it all started when he noticed he was more tired and out of breath than usual. He didn't think much of it. He told News 12 that he thought he just needed to rest – until one day, he was sitting on the train on the way to work.
"I morphed from a 190-pound person to 210(-pounds) in an hour and a half. I was swollen from the stomach down," he said.
He first went to Health Alliance Hospital in Kingston, and they recognized he was in heart failure and sent him to Westchester Medical Center. When he arrived, his doctor says he was in bad shape.
"His heart was so weak, it couldn't pump blood to the body and so his kidneys were shutting down, his liver was shutting down," explained Dr. Gregg Lanier. "If they didn't recognize the heart failure, he probably could've died that day."
On March 13, he went on the heart transplant list. Luck was on his side – just 17 days later, nurse practitioner Kathleen McCrink walked into his hospital room with some news.
"I said ‘Oh, Mr. Lorenzo, what are you doing this weekend?’ He started to say, 'Oh I'm doing this and that,' and I said, ‘How about we say the wait is over’ and he was like what?” said McCrink.
"I think I swore at her," laughs Beronilla. "I think I did. I just didn't understand what that meant...How long do I wait after that? And the next words are "you're going into surgery at 10 p.m. tonight, call your family."
Beronilla spent 87 days total in the hospital. Now, he has a new lease on life.
"Really listen to your body," he said. "I know so many people, you can hear them say 'they're so tired right now, I’ll rest on the weekend when I'm off.' No. Your body is telling you something.”


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