Patient Stories

Joe’s Story

September 17, 2009


Joe’s Story

Joe is a retired – though still working and practicing – lawyer in Council Bluffs. In March, 2009, he was not feeling well, but encouraged his wife, Mary Lou, to go ahead to a party they were invited to. When she returned, he was in a lot of pain and said he needed to go to the hospital. Joe had always resisted going to the doctor, so Mary Lou knew it must be pretty serious.

They went to the emergency department at Mercy Hospital, where Joe was sent immediately to the catheterization lab. Mary Lou was impressed with how quickly the staff worked to treat Joe. As a former nurse, she knew the importance of treatment during the first moments of a heart attack. Within a matter of 90 minutes Joe had received a stent and was resting in his room.

Joe “graduated” (complete with cap and gown and the pictures to prove it) from the Cardiac Rehabilitation program. He now parks farther away from his office to get more exercise.

One Comment
  1. Paul Becker

    I had a heart attack on October 25, 2008. It started suddenly with pain in both elbows and no other symptoms at 7 p.m. By 7:15 p.m. I started to go into shock. I didn't know what was wrong, but I knew I needed help. In 5 minutes I was at Lakeside ER. The doctor who saved my life asked me several questions, did an EKG and chest X ray. I never had chest pain, shortness of breath or any other classical symptoms. I lost consciousness. When I regained consciousness a half hour later, I was surrounded by two doctors and several nurses all of whom were grinning from ear to ear. The doctor told me I had survived a "widow maker" heart attack, 82% do not. I was told that I had gone into full cardiac arrest. The ER team had resorted to chest compressions and 5 defribrilation shocks to get me restarted. I was moved to the cath lab where a stent was placed and by 9:30 I was moved to my intensive care hospital room. My wife and children visited me briefly. All three nurses who cared for me during the night came in before they left at the end of their shift to rub my head for good luck. They, and my cardiolgist Dr. Stephen O'Connor, who introduced himself Sunday morning, said I was lucky to be alive. I still disagree that it was luck - I think it was the excellent professional care I received and a lot of prayer! After two days I was sent home to recuperate. I attended cardiac rehab for 6 weeks which allowed me to eventually return to work and heal virtually completely. I am convinced the care I received not only saved my life, but has allowed me to return to a full productive life. My wife and children think so too!

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