The Bashista Farm in Southampton has been a staple of Hampshire County since 1926.
“My husband and I ran the farm for 30 years, his dad before him, and his grandfather before him, and now our son and his wife are running the farm. Their boys are very active, and their daughter, so there's been five generations running the farm,” Jean Bashista says.
Over the past few years, though, “running” or even enjoying the farm became a major challenge for Jean. In fact, just walking around the property was difficult.
“It just got progressively worse until I couldn’t go for walks anymore, even walking around my own yard,” Jean says. “I couldn’t work in my flower beds, I couldn’t do anything. I said, 'I've got to do something!'”
So, after some encouragement from family and friends, she made an appointment with Baystate Vascular Services. Jean was diagnosed with a severe case of Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) and was scheduled for a bypass procedure on her left leg.
Vascular Bypass Surgery
“I knew no one who had this surgery before, no one who I could ask ‘how did you make out?’” Jean says. “I bit the bullet and I did go into Baystate and it was the best decision I ever made.”
Dr. Sang Rhee, a Baystate vascular surgeon of 48 years, performed Jean's vascular bypass procedure in July 2015. "We did bypass because she could not have stent or angioplasty.”
He explains, “Usually the pain is felt when patients walk fast and a lot. That’s the sign of bad circulation. But when the circulation gets worse to the point that they have pain all the time, whether they walk a lot or not, they wake up at night, that’s from the hardening of the artery."
The bypass worked to perfection, and Jean spent five days in the Davis Family Heart & Vascular Center recovering. She was diligent in rehabilitation when she got back home.
“I could not walk out to my mailbox, which is right across the street from the house, because it was just so painful," says Jean. "Now I walk two and a half miles a day, five days a week, with no problems in that leg. It’s wonderful. I am very, very pleased and I was very pleased with the hospital. The treatment that I had, the nurses, the doctors, everybody was wonderful."
Jean credits Dr. Rhee and other team members for her quick recovery. While “running the farm” is now the responsibility of her children, she’s able to enjoy her retirement, her beautiful property, and yes, even help bake the popular holiday pies that Hampshire County residents have relied on for 89 years strong.
“I feel wonderful,” she says. “I really do, I would tell anybody with the same problem, go and have it taken care of at Baystate. They've got good surgeons!”