When a human heart is working correctly, blood flows freely through the complicated cardiovascular plumbing. But if it isn’t, it can be a matter of life and death.
“You can see the blockage here that’s over 90 percent,” said Dr. Andrew Kotis, Cardiologist at SwedishAmerican Hospital, as he pointed to an angiogram.
The blockage is certainly not what Gordon Geddes expected to find during a routine physical eight years ago. He passed the exam with flying colors, until the stress test.
“I’m on the treadmill, [and] they’ve got the leads hooked up, and all of a sudden there’s a doctor sitting there that wasn’t there when we started this mess,” explained Geddes.
That doctor who appeared during Geddes’ stress test was Dr. Kotis. He discovered several blockages in Geddes’ heart.
“Many patients go throughout life and then the only symptom of heart disease they get is [an] actual heart attack or sudden death,” said Dr. Kotis.
“The good Lord’s hand was on my shoulder,” said Geddes. “Get checked out. Find out if you’ve got a problem, [and] get it fixed.”
To get Geddes’ heart fixed, he needed quadruple bypass by SwedishAmerican cardio thoracic surgeon Dr. John Myers.
“What we are doing is providing a way to get better blood supply downstream from those blockages,” explained Dr.Myers, “so we do some plumbing.”
Four hours of surgery later, Geddes emerged with a heart functioning as it should be, and a renewed appreciation of that dreaded yearly physical.
“It’s better to find out like I did, before you’ve got a problem, than to have a problem and have the consequences thereof,” Geddes said. “As I say to my friends, ‘it’s much better to be seen than viewed'”.
Geddes is the president of the Rock River Valley chapter of Mended Hearts, which is a support group for those with heart issues, or have had heart issues.
On February 2, 2016, SwedishAmerican will host “Heart Care: Ask the Experts” at Giovanni’s. The event is free and starts at 5:30 pm. Click here for more information.