Dolores Catania’s boyfriend Paul Connell undergoes life-saving heart surgery

Dolores Catania‘s boyfriend, Paul “Paulie” Connell, is on the mend after undergoing life-saving heart surgery on Thursday.

“For the past eight years, Paul has suffered from an irregular heartbeat believed to be atrial fibrillation. Recently this was confirmed with a diagnosis of SVT or supraventricular tachycardia,” the ‘Real Housewives‘ star exclusively shared. of New Jersey,” 51, to Page Six, detailing the health journey of her Irish beau.

“He often went to the emergency room and consulted several different cardiologists,” she continues.

“He finally found the right specialist, a cardiac electrophysiologist, Dr. Robert Altman, who identified that he had a syndrome called WPW. Now what could you ask? It’s the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome is a rare birth defect, according to the Mayo Clinic, and has been linked to sudden cardiac death in children and adults.

Dolores Catania‘s boyfriend, Paul “Paulie” Connell, is recovering from life-saving heart surgery.

dolores-catania-paul-connell-37

Dolores Catania’s boyfriend, Paul “Paulie” Connell, is recovering from life-saving heart surgery.

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“It’s a very dangerous syndrome that causes an extra electrical pathway in the heart,” says Catania. “It causes rapid heartbeat and can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated.”

WPW patients have an extra electrical pathway that connects the upper and lower heart chambers, allowing heart signals to bypass the AV node, according to the Mayo Clinic. As a result, the heart signals don’t slow down, they just get more excited as the heart rate increases. The extra pathway can back off heart signals, causing an uncoordinated heartbeat.

“So if you experience palpitations or feel like something is wrong with your heart, please listen to your body and get yourself assessed!” said Catania.

“After many years of my Paulie living with it, I finally convinced him to take it to the next level. After working with Dr. Altman and having his procedure, his morale is high and you can see he there is a sign of relief.

In video footage exclusively shared with Page Six, Connell, 48, looks jovial just moments after Dr. Altman completed the catheter ablation procedure.

Paul "Paulie" Connell and Dolores Catania pose for a selfie
Connell, pictured here with Catania, was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW).
dolorescatania/Instagram

“Please have your heart checked. It only takes a few visits and a quick little procedure like today could give you a longer life to spend with this beautiful woman and your family,” he said from the hospital bed, pointing to Catania.

Connell tells Page Six that his girlfriend — whom he affectionately calls the “best nurse” — is helping him recover a few days later.

“I really feel a lot better this week than I did last week,” says the CEO of Eco Electrical Services, who is grateful to have found a solution that should improve his quality of life.

“The last eight years of my life were of lower quality than they should have been because I stopped doing things for fear it would affect my heart. There was a lot of anxiety” “But Dolores pushed me to get this checked out. She took over and I was basically a passenger. Because of her, I’m really optimistic about the future.”

Connell praises Catania for comforting his sons Cameron, 20, and Brooklyn, 17 – to whom he is a parent from a previous relationship – when they broke the news of their father’s health.

Dolores Catania and Paul "Paulie" Connell poses during a taping of "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen"
The Bravolebrity and the businessman started dating last fall.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

“They were very scared when I told them about it. Dolores and I sat them down and I let Dolores talk because I wanted her to soften the message,” he said. “You could see the emotion on their faces, but I think the way she told them, they stabilized and became confident that Dad was somewhere fine and that Dolores was going to be next to me and everything would be fine. ”

Connell points out that Catania’s good friend, electrophysiologist Dr. Michael Fradley, referred him to Dr. Altman.

“Honestly, I still would have been in the shadow of what this does to me if I hadn’t listened to Dolores and she hadn’t forced this,” he says of the former surgical assistant. “Men seem to think they’re invincible and when I lay down on that hospital bed I wasn’t invincible. I needed her.

In her chat with Us, the Bravolebrity — who started dating Connell last fall, months after her split from ex David Principe — further encouraged fans to stay vigilant about their heart health.

“If you or someone you love has this or any of the symptoms, please contact a healthcare professional or cardiologist and ensure they examine you and perform an EKG and evaluate any medications you may be taking. you take,” she said. .

Dolores Catania films herself at Paul's
Catania was with Connell after Dr. Robert Altman performed a catheter ablation on him at Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey.

Throughout their consultation experience with Dr. Altman, Catania notes that Connell found he was not taking the medications necessary for his condition.

“During this process, we also found that the medication he was taking was not the right medication for what he actually had, which caused him to gain weight and retain water, which can also be very dangerous for your heart with other mild symptoms,” she says, noting that Connell is doing “well” on his road to recovery.

Connell has a follow-up appointment with Dr. Altman next month. The qualified electrician hopes to eventually stop any medication previously prescribed for atrial fibrillation, which he does not have.

“When I go to see Dr. Altman in four weeks, I hope he will tell me that my life will be back to normal. And then the maintenance after that is getting an EKG every two months,” he says.

Catania is delighted that her boyfriend is already making “good progress” a few days away.

Paul "Paulie" Connell and Dolores Catania pose for a selfie in a convertible
Connell encourages fans to “get [their] hearts checked” if they experience similar symptoms.
dolorescatania/Instagram

“Still small steps, but his medical team are confident they have corrected the problem and it should leave the rest of his life stress free!” enthuses Catania. “It was something that could have been addressed a long time ago, and I’m glad he finally listened to me.”

The reality TV personality is also happy to have found Dr. Altman and the medical staff who helped make Connell’s procedure a success.

“I need Paulie, my love, around me,” gushed the mother-of-two, who shares daughter Gabby, 26, and son Frankie, 23, with ex-husband Frank Catania. “Thank you to everyone who helped out at Hackensack Hospital, you were all amazing.”

Connell is set to appear in Season 13 of “RHONJ,” which is currently in production.

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