Surviving a widowmaker thanks to Beebe’s cardiac care
February is American Heart Month, so I’m pleased to be writing this article about the excellent cardiac care I received at Beebe last October.
I didn’t know my heart was in serious trouble. I’m a local golf pro and a healthy, active 54-year-old. Leading up to my cardiac episode, I’d had some uncommon bouts with heartburn and was fighting a bit of a cold, but I had no indication that I was heading for a serious event with my heart.
Oct. 14 was a Friday, and I was catching up on some yardwork when I felt a slight pain in my chest and a little shortness of breath. We were expecting company for dinner, so I didn’t say anything to my wife when she returned from playing golf. I was concerned, but not overly so. During dinner, however, I had another, more intense pain in my chest. I excused myself from the table, caught my wife’s attention, and told her I needed to go to the emergency department. Thankfully, Beebe’s South Coastal Health Campus was only minutes away from our home.
Neither my wife nor I was panicked. I walked into the ED without assistance and told the team there that I was experiencing chest pains. They were quick and efficient, and began testing that resulted in me being transported in the wee hours of Saturday morning to Beebe’s Margaret H. Rollins Lewes Campus, where I was admitted. Everyone was efficient and professional, and I was pleased that I recognized the patient I was sharing a room with. We chatted, as friends will do, as the Beebe clinical team started me on Benadryl because of my shellfish allergy. This allergy prep was necessary so I could ingest the contrast dye needed for further diagnosis. I must say, the entire clinical team was terrific. They kept my wife and me informed of everything, every step of the way, providing truly excellent care.
Later in the day after my admission, my heart pains began again. The episodes were far more painful, and the nursing care could not have been more attentive and compassionate. I was given nitroglycerin for the pain and then I was taken in for my procedure. I was lucky that I was already at Beebe when my symptoms worsened. I was given medication and was actually semi-awake for my stent procedure. I felt safe and in good hands with Rajinder Prasad, MD, who later told me that all planets had aligned on my behalf. The surgery saved my life. My main artery was 99 percent blocked. I had avoided a life-ending, widowmaker heart event. My family and I are grateful for everyone who was part of my care team, including Amber Bennett, Julianne Cloman, Daniela Delong, Ginger Farr, Valerie Ganthier, Alexander Hartz, Kristin Hurley, Keith Kuhfahl, Dr. Ajith Kumar, Sarah Leatherwoord, Dr. Harvey Lee, Darra Markland, Tony Nocera, Katelyn O’Neil, Dr. Maneshkuma Patel, Dr. Arthur Pecora, Dr. Rajinder Prasad, Rosheena Purnell, Cristin Richards, Jillian Smith, Taylor Spears and Jay Wingate.
And, my terrific Beebe care didn’t end when I was discharged. I began doing rehab at Beebe’s Cardiac Rehab on the Rehoboth Health Campus, and I am thrilled with everyone there. These superstars, including Julie Watson, Juli Tugend, Steven Eshleman, Heather Baurhenn, Jan Glasscock, Sue Ann Newsham, Audrey Woodland, Jen Kozusko, Leigh Ann Burke, Mary Grawehr, Elizabeth Holland, Connie Reed and Megan Hibbs, have coached and educated me. I’m feeling great, and I’m even back on the golf course. You are all wonderful. Thank you.
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at email@example.com.