Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute

Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute Gives Local "Angell" His Wings

William Angell returned to Rhode Island Hospital in November 2022 to thank the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute team who saved his life.

William Angell was rushed by ambulance to the hospital earlier in the year, as emergency medical technicians (EMTs) performed CPR after he had stopped breathing. The team succeeded in reviving him.

Angell, an army veteran from Johnston and former library assistant with the news department of the Providence Journal, was having a heart attack.

ennifer Cunanan, RN, William Angell, and Athena Poppas, MD.
William Angell and two of the team who saved his life. Pictured from left are Jennifer Cunanan, RN; William Angell; and Athena Poppas, MD.

Once at the hospital, the emergency room team had to resuscitate him multiple times. Then it was on to the cardiovascular lab where a Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute team discovered the main arteries in his heart each had 90 percent blockage, one closed completely. A heart pump was inserted to keep his heart pumping. He was induced into a medical coma in which he remained for several days, as his care team treated him for subsequent liver shock and renal failure.

"At one point, Bill was probably on four different machines just to keep him alive," says critical care nurse Jennifer Cunanan.

After three weeks in cardiology, he was discharged to rehabilitation. He returned in May to undergo a coronary artery bypass graft with Neel Sodha, MD, director, Lifespan Thoracic Aortic Center. In August 2022, he celebrated his 70th birthday.

Angell took advantage of the life-saving medical attention he received. "My goals were to get healthier, obviously. I wanted to get back on the golf course with my military buddies and I wanted to get on the bowling alley. As of now, I've accomplished all three.”

Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute team

The Heart Recovery Reunion

A heart recovery reunion brought William Angell back to Rhode Island Hospital. Angell and his care team shared his life-saving story.

Watch his story on