Originally from France, Stephane Ruz is the director of American International School of Vilnius in Lithuania. Every year he comes to the United States to recruit new teachers for to educate children of NATO staff members.
While in the US, Ruz always schedules a routine heart check-up for a congenital heart condition. During his most recent trip to the states, Ruz made plans to see his family, who lives in Destin. He also researched heart physicians for his annual check-up.
He met with Dr. Eric Sandwith at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center who, after a thorough check-up, advised it was time to replace a heart valve, treat an aortic aneurysm and take care of Ruz’s coronary condition with a bypass.
He plans to enjoy the Emerald Coast with his wife and family while he recovers from surgery.
There were several procedures performed on Mr. Ruz due to him having congenital heart disease. Mr. Ruz had surgery when he was an infant and then again several years later as an adolescent. However, those repairs caused him to have the current issues he faced prior to surgery. Dr. Sandwith performed a one-vessel CABG which is basically a heart bypass. The bypass was done by harvesting one of the veins from Mr. Ruz’s legs. He also had to replace Mr. Ruz’s aortic valve. The aorta coming out of the aortic valve, arches upward then down into the stomach. The section that arches up was enlarged so Dr. Sandwith had to replace the entire ascending aorta.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center (FWBMC) is a 257-bed hospital with over 200 of the most highly respected and qualified physicians in the area. They also are the only Level II Trauma Center in the tri-county area. It is ranked nationally for infection prevention and was recognized in 2016 as a Top General Hospital, for excellence in quality care and patient safety. It is the only acute care hospital in the tri-county area qualified to perform open heart surgery and has the only Advanced Primary Stroke Center and Accredited Chest Pain Center, making Fort Walton Beach Medical Center the best hospital in the area to care for your heart.
Fort Walton Beach Medical Center also provides advanced care for critically ill patients. This care includes cardiovascular and trauma injury care units, emergency services, and a rehab facility, Rehabilitation Institute of Northwest Florida in Destin, that is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).
For expecting mothers, Women and Children’s Services at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center is proud to be initiating the pathway to becoming a designated Baby Friendly Hospital. Their highly skilled team of OB/GYNs and nurses provide compassionate care, while private labor, delivery and recovery suites offer a safe, supportive and homelike environment. Our unique Couplet Care system provides one-on-one nursing care to help mother and baby off to a happy, healthy start. To provide additional peace of mind, should a delivery become high risk, Fort Walton Beach Medical Center has the only Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit with neonatologists available 24/7.
For a free physician referral or to speak with a registered nurse about your health questions, please call Consult-A-Nurse at (850) 864-0213. Available 24 hours/7 days a week.
Dr. Eric Sandwith, Thoracic and Cardiac Surgeon
Dr. Eric L. Sandwith earned his medical degree in 1995 from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. He continued his post-graduate work in surgery with an internship and residency at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and then another residency in thoracic surgery at St. Luke's Hospital of Kansas City in Missouri. In 2002 he received a Fellowship in cardiovascular surgery from the Mayo Clinic/St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Sandwith is licensed in the state of Florida and is board certified by the American Board of General Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He is a member of the American College of Surgeons, Priestly Society (Mayo Surgical Alumni), and the American College of Surgeons.