Man Thanks Heart Surgeon for Saving His Life Twice in 20 Years

Alexander Mullery, 76, grinned as he shook hands with Dr. Alan Hartman on Tuesday.

A New York man is thanking his heart surgeon for saving his life twice in the past two decades.

Alexander Mullery, 76, grinned as he shook hands with Dr. Alan Hartman Tuesday.

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"I would say he not only saved my life once — he saved my life twice," Mullery told CBS New York.

The pair reunited on Tuesday for the opening of the new Sandra Atlas Bass Heart Hospital in Manhasset, one of the largest cardiac treatment facilities in New York. Mullery was joined by his wife Lucy and their two sons.

Dr. Hartman, a cardiologist on Long Island, and Mullery first met 20 years ago when he needed an aortic valve replacement. It worked effectively until last summer, when an artery ruptured in his heart.

"I woke up early in the morning and I know how I usually feel, and I had this strange feeling in my chest," he told CBS New York.

He was flown to the hospital in a helicopter, where the same surgeon saved his life once again.

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On Tuesday, Dr. Hartman said his patient is now in better shape than he was before the hospital stay. And he had another piece of good news.

“Today we gave him final permission to resume golf,” Dr. Hartman said.

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