Celebrating the Doctors Who Saved Dave’s Life

Walk back in time with us to 2001. A young medical student is neck-deep researching cardiac failure and focuses on a rarely diagnosed and difficult-to-treat heart disease: amyloidosis. She’s told that this research will never be used, which only makes her more determined.

Fast forward 20 years. The research Nitasha Sarswat, MD, conducted early in her career has grown to a deep understanding of the disease—saving the lives of Dave Landsittel and countless others.

An Unexpected Journey: Dave Landsittel’s Story

When Dave opened his eyes on an April day in 2021, he was in an unfamiliar hospital room surrounded by machines, uncertain how long he had been there. Over the next few hours, Dave met more than a dozen physicians and caregivers. They explained that, nearly three weeks earlier, his heart had nearly failed—and he had been admitted to a critical care unit at NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore).

Dave was overcome with emotion when he learned what had happened. In one particularly perilous moment, it had been uncertain he would pull through. Dave’s wife, Darlene, felt confident in NorthShore’s care—but his children from around the country traveled in to say their goodbyes, one at a time, fearful of what might come.

It was a terrifying experience, but the communication and collaboration were amazing. Dave’s care team was very compassionate and authentic, and our family felt informed throughout the process.”

—Darlene Landsittel, Dave’s wife

While Dave’s family prepared for the worst, his physicians at NorthShore didn’t waste a moment. Cardiologists Dr. Sarswat, Charu Gupta, MD, and Robert Gordon, MD, collaborated with a multidisciplinary team of physicians to investigate and diagnose the cause of Dave’s potentially fatal condition.

Together, they discovered the problem was a form of amyloidosis—the same underdiagnosed and complicated disease Dr. Sarswat had researched years prior.

Every day for nearly three weeks, Dr. Sarswat rallied Dave’s team of physicians to solve his potentially fatal case and establish a treatment plan. The research Dr. Sarswat had been told was useless during medical school ended up saving Dave’s life.

The level of collaboration at NorthShore is really unique and brings together multiple minds for each patient. This is best for their care, creating better outcomes. Dave’s recovery proves that!

—Nitasha Sarswat, MD, Cardiologist

Today, Dave is back home—supported by the love from his family and the ongoing care from his physicians. When Dave comes to NorthShore for outpatient visits, he participates in clinical trials to help our team of researchers continue to learn from his complicated condition.

The Power of Philanthropy: Celebrating and Supporting Our Incredible Physicians

Dr. Sarswat hopes to bring more advanced heart failure resources to NorthShore, collaborating with other physicians and healthcare systems to ensure that patients like Dave have access to best-in-class care, technology and education.

Our philanthropic partners help make this life-changing care possible. Thanks to community supporters like you, NorthShore physicians like Dr. Sarswat are empowered to collaborate and care for patients like Dave—to provide exceptional care each and every day, and when needed, lifesaving treatments.

We invite you to become a part of that work by making a gift in celebration and support of our incredible physicians.

Your gift is a powerful expression of gratitude for our caregivers’ endless dedication to our community over the past two years. Your encouragement brings a smile to their faces, inspiring them each day as they work tirelessly to save the lives of patients like Dave’s.

I feel wonderful, and I’m very thankful. I felt in great hands with Dr. Sarswat’s expertise. She gave us learning resources and found me the most up-to-date medication, which is critical to my well-being.

—Dave Landsittel