Skip to main content
Press Release

Couple Married for Nearly 40 Years Reunite on Valentine's Day with St. Francis Doctors Who Fixed Their Broken Hearts on Multiple Occasions

13 February, 2020
St. Francis cardiology patients with their doctors

Richard and Marilynn Hearne have shared many heartfelt moments during their more than 39 years of marriage- including undergoing six cardiac procedures between them. But the life-saving experiences have brought their hearts even closer together. The lucky Levittown couple were reunited with the St. Francis physicians who saved them - to celebrate yet another Valentine’s Day. After exchanging chocolate hearts and flowers with their favorite doctors and nurses, they toasted the entire hospital medical staff with sparkling cider over a heart shaped Valentine’s cake. 
“As New York State’s only specialty designated heart center, Valentine’s Day is very special to us,” says Charles L. Lucore, M.D., MBA, President of St. Francis Hospital. “We take pride in mending broken hearts, using the latest leading edge surgical and non-surgical procedures to keep our patients’ hearts in the right place.”

Since 2013, Marilynn has undergone two aortic valve replacements, one mitral valve replacement, and one transcatheter tricuspid replacement. Her husband, who has congestive heart failure, suffered a heart attack and stroke, and received a stent, recently had a transcatheter aortic valve replacement or TAVR last November.

The Hearnes were reunited with three leading St. Francis physicians, who have played integral roles in their care:

• Newell Robinson, M.D., Chairman of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
• George Petrossian, M.D., Director of Interventional Cardiovascular Procedures
• Neil Bercow, M.D., Cardiothoracic Surgeon

Marilynn, a former medical assistant and current medical claims specialist who works from home, says she’s become used to living on the edge and never knowing what the next day will bring. “At this point they should name a wing at the hospital after us,” she says jokingly. Her husband, a retired special education teacher, volunteers every week to help autistic students. The close knit couple have considered moving to Florida, but for now prefer to stay on Long Island – near their relatives, neighbors, and friends, and their second family at St. Francis. 

Contact: Rosemary Gomez, 516-563-7965,

St. Francis cardiology patients with their doctors
Richard and Marilynn Hearne with Dr. George Petrossian, Dr. Neil Bercow and Dr. Newell Robinson.

Top Photo: Dr. Charles L. Lucore, President of St. Francis Hospital, Richard and Marilynn Hearne, Dr. George Petrossian, Dr. Neil Bercow, Dr. Newell Robinson and cardiology nurses.