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    Sutter Heart & Vascular Institute

    Howard - Heart Attacks and No Heart Damage

    Howard -
    Howard - Heart Attacks and No Heart Damage

    Howard is no stranger to health issues. Having had three heart procedures, his colon and gall bladder removed, and even kidney stones, he knows a little bit about living with health conditions.

    "Anyone over 60, me included, is entitled to talk about their medical conditions in great detail and at great length," he says.

    It all began in 1991 when Howard was living in Oakland, Calif., and had to have a triple-bypass heart surgery. He had one 90 percent blockage and two 70 percent blockages that, luckily, he caught early, enabling him to take care of the problem before it escalated. The physicians that preformed the bypass told him he would most likely need to have more procedures preformed in about 10 years.

    In 2005, 14 years later, Howard found himself living in Lincoln, Calif., running his successful Roseville investment and tax company before he had another heart-related issue.

    "I woke up in the middle of the night and it felt like someone was pressing a large dinner plate on my chest," he said.

    His wife, Barbara, drove him to Sutter Roseville Medical Center, where they diagnosed his heart attack and stabilized him for transport to Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento. There, his cardiologist, George Fehrenbacher, M.D., FACC, was able to perform an angioplasty and insert a stent to unclog the blocked artery.

    Life continued as normal and Howard was able to do what he loved most: work, golf and volunteer on local community boards. It wasn't until 2009 when Howard experienced his third heart episode.

    This time Howard was at work interviewing a client. He started experiencing very light chest pain. After the interview was over, Howard packed his briefcase and proceeded to drive himself to Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

    "About halfway there, the pain had gotten worse and I wished I would have had someone else drive me," Howard said. "Luckily, there was parking right in front of the emergency room and I was able to get inside fast."

    He told the front desk clerk he was having a heart attack and the staff whisked him off to be examined.

    "Before I hit the bed I had three IVs and a night gown on," Howard said, "I felt very well cared for and received excellent care from the hospital staff on emergency room duty. They immediately determined the urgency of my needs and, with their timely action, prevented any heart damage."

    Later in the cath lab, after performing an angiogram, cardiologist David Wampold, M.D., FACC, discovered that Howard had 100 percent blockage in one of his arteries. Because of Sutter Roseville Medical Center's excellent outcomes and new practice policy, Howard was able to have angioplasty preformed in Roseville, instead of being transferred to Sacramento like his previous procedure in 2005.

    Three days after his heart attack, Howard was back at work with no permanent damage.

    "I mentioned to my cardiologist, Dr. Fehrenbacher, during a follow-up visit after this second heart attack," Howard said, "that I probably had more heart damage when my high school sweetheart broke up with me than I had with this heart attack thanks to everyone's quick response to my needs."

     

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