A few blocks later, I saw her again, only now she was crumpled on the sidewalk. A guy was putting his backpack beneath her head. A woman was going through her bag for identification. Somebody else was calling an ambulance. A perfume sample from Henri Bendel rolled out of her pocket and a shoe had fallen off her foot. I don't know why that matters to me but it does. She wasn't young, but she wasn't old, either—mid-50s would be my guess. The paramedics said it was a massive heart attack.
This entire event probably lasted seven or eight minutes, but it has stayed with me for more than 20 years. I just keep seeing her shimmering coat fanned across the sidewalk with backpack guy kneeling on it as he holds her hand. I try to make it make some sense, I try to fix it, I try to forget it—but I can't.
Why is a 50-something woman walking down the street one minute and lying in it the next? And, at the risk of sounding like I'm auditioning for the Bee Gees, my real question: How do you mend a broken heart?
I know exactly where to get the answer. With one call to Dr. Mehmet Oz, I'm invited to see for myself on the fourth floor of New York–Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center.
What it's like to step inside the OR with Dr. Oz