“The kids who ride my bus are like my own kids. I could see how scared they were for me.”

Last year, Patricia Long visited her cardiologist for a seemingly routine blood pressure stress test. What that test revealed was something incredibly rare—an atrial myxoma, a large tumor inside her heart. 

After learning that her doctor only sees about one case like this per year, the severity of her situation began to sink in. And as a bus driver for Honeoye Central, she wondered how she’d tell her kids—all 64 of them. When Patricia broke the news to the kids on the bus, they were scared, but she assured them she’d be back soon. 

Due to the rarity of her condition, Patricia’s cardiologist referred her to the Sands-Constellation Heart Institute at Rochester General Hospital. Her tumor was successfully removed, and before long, she was back on her route. And back to looking after her extended family.