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UM Hospital team rescues NCIS agent in Panama


Published:   |   Updated: May 18, 2013 at 01:14 PM
MIAMI -

A team from the University of Miami Hospital is sharing their story after being summoned to Panama to rescue an NCIS federal agent.

The U.S. ambassador to Panama asked the hospital for help after 42-year-old agent Noel Zuniga collapsed in March during his daily run. Hospital officials said he suffered a heart attack.

Doctors performed an angioplasty but Zuniga remained critically ill and was experiencing multiple organ failure. He desperately needed a mechanical intraaortic balloon pump to maintain circulation.

The University of Miami Hospital had conducted a clinical trial for that device four years earlier.

UM doctors flew to Panama, implanted the cardiac pump, and flew Zuniga back to Miami where he spent a month in intensive care.

Zuniga and the doctors discussed the case during a press conference Friday.

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