Paying Attention to Cardiac Symptoms Saves Louis

Louis, Cardiac Patient

Louis describes himself as a walker; he likes to walk every day on the beach. But then he started to experience chest pains on his walks - pains that made him have to stop in the middle of his walks. Louis decided it was time to get it checked out.

Right before Thanksgiving, he scheduled a stress test with his cardiologist, David Steiner, MD. As soon as Louis started feeling chest pains on the treadmill, Dr. Steiner was able to see what the problem was. Louis had blockage and would need a stent or two.

Louis wanted to wait until after Thanksgiving, but when Dr. Steiner told him that waiting could mean a heart attack, Louis reconsidered. His father had passed away from a heart attack.

So the next day, Louis was supposed to get his stent put in, but the doctors realized it wouldn't work for him. The better option for Louis would be to undergo open heart surgery.

"He had coronary heart disease, which meant he was not getting enough blood to his heart," said Richard Perryman, MD, medical director, Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute. "Louis fell into the subgroup of people who tend to do better with surgery than interventional catheterization."

Louis underwent open bypass surgery on Nov. 29. The surgery was a success, but he did face some complications during his recovery, going into cardiac arrest three times. It was a very scary time for Louis, but he was thankful for the support from the Memorial staff.

"I guess the best thing I could say about the care I got, I knew if I died and went to heaven that'd be the only place I would get better care than I was getting from the nurses here at Memorial," said Louis.

Louis appreciated the care and conversation he had with his doctors and nurses.

"They have great empathy and professionalism. They know their stuff and they're not calloused about it," said Louis. "You know, they make you feel like they understand how you feel."

Dr. Perryman commended Louis for his attitude during the process as well.

"He is a very positive individual and he did well. He has gone on to do nicely," said Dr. Perryman.

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Dr. Perryman and Louis talked about his recovery process. They decided together that Louis would not need to do cardiac rehabilitation. He started out with limited mobility, but in time he would be back to his normal life. Louis loves to golf and wanted to get back out on the course, which Dr. Perryman understood.

"Dr. Perryman's a golfer. So we talked about this. He says, 'Louis, you'll be healed in 90 days. Take your putter and a club out. See what happens.' So I headed to a golf course," said Louis.

Louis is now back to his old life. He enjoys his daily walks on the beach and rounds of golf without any pain.

Because of his good experience with TotalHeart care, Louis referred a friend about 20 years younger with a similar family history to get his heart checked out at Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute as well.

Louis was grateful for the TotalHeart care he received at Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute.

"They did a great job by me and have a great reputation," said Louis. "They are one of the best hospitals and I was happy to be there."