Elmont mother with rare genetic disease receives new, lifesaving treatment at Northwell

Northwell Health is celebrating the success of the first-of-its-kind technology on Long Island.

May 5, 2022, 7:49 PM

Updated 715 days ago


A mother fighting a rare health issue is grateful she’ll be spending Mother’s Day with her family this weekend after being the first person on Long Island to receive a new, lifesaving treatment.
Northwell Health is celebrating the success of the first-of-its-kind technology on Long Island.
Salima Mohip of Elmont has a rare genetic condition that causes cholesterol to build up quickly in her arteries, putting her at major risk for a heart attack. It’s a condition that runs in her family.
“I have lost siblings because of this disease," Mohip says. "My father at 42, my brother at 37, sister at 42 all passed from heart attack."
Mohip is 51 and had a double bypass back in 2014, but her cholesterol went back up. Now thanks to a treatment called "apharesis" she’s able to get her life back.
“I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath and now I can do that multiple times and feel great,” Mohip said.
“Everyone is at risk for heart disease," says Dr. Guy Mintz with Northwell Health. "Cholesterol is a major risk factor. The longer you’re exposed to high cholesterol, it’s a major risk factor that needs to be dealt with.”
Doctors at Northwell Health use a new machine to remove the build up. Every two weeks, it takes the blood out of her body, ‘cleans’ it by removing the cholesterol and returns that filtered blood back into her veins. She had her first session back in March.
“For the ones that I have lost, it was bittersweet the first day this machine started because if only they had the chance," Mohip says. "So it is bittersweet.”
It’s even more bittersweet knowing her sons are also at risk for the same condition.
“For my mom, she’s a fighter and she’s been fighting this since day one," says Jameel Mohip, Salima Mohip's oldest son. "And I’m very proud of her and I’m very honored to be here in support of her.”
Her sons gifted their mother with a beautiful bouquet and big hugs Thursday to celebrate her courage in choosing to become the first person to ever receive this type of treatment on Long Island, paving the way for others to do the same.
According to Northwell Health, New York State only has three of these apharesis machines.
Northwell has the only one on Long Island.

More from News 12