“It was nearing the end of a 2-day baseball tournament” said DC Turner, “I had umpired 9 games on Saturday and was in the middle of game 5 on Sunday before having any problems.” It was during that 5th game on Sunday that DC Turner experienced what he thought at the time was heat exhaustion. His wife, April, concerned of what happened decided to visit Tracy Sizemore, APRN at Manchester Memorial Hospital’s (MMH) Family Medical Care of Clay County for a checkup.
His initial evaluation showed nothing wrong with him, and he seemed in good health, however, Sizemore decided to schedule a follow-up at Manchester Cardiology Clinic for further evaluation to make sure nothing was missed. DC’s follow up was with Dr. Lynda Otalvaro, who is an affiliated cardiologist of the University of Kentucky’s Gill Heart Institute and ARH Cardiology Associates. Dr. Otalvaro evaluated DC, who was feeling great with no significant symptoms, but regarding just his isolated episode of heat exhaustion, it was decided to go ahead and perform an outpatient regular treadmill stress test.
His stress test was scheduled with Mark Asher, Director of Respiratory Therapy at MMH. DC was full of confidence as he approached the treadmill and began preparation for his test. He stepped onto the treadmill and started walking at a regular pace; “everything is looking great!” Dr. Otalvaro said as DC approached thirty seconds on the treadmill. It wasn’t long after, and before completing 3 minutes on the treadmill that Dr. Otalvaro noted changes in the reading and asked DC how he was feeling. He mentioned he was having chest tightness but said that he could probably continue. The tightness worsened and Dr. Otalvaro decided to stop the treadmill and give him a nitro under the tongue. DC was confused about the reason the test was stopped, but he noticed he was not feeling well. That is when Dr. Otalvaro said “you are having a real episode of angina, this is a real chest pain.” Angina is caused by reduced blood flow to your heart due to a possible arterial occlusion, which could lead to multiple undesirable complications.
“DC was showing textbook signs of a blockage in his arteries, which became extremely clear after his stress test,” said Dr. Otalvaro. He was immediately referred to Dr. Syed Bokhari, interventional cardiologist at the Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center, for a cardiac catheterization. A cardiac catheterization, or heart cath, is a procedure in which catheters are placed into the arteries to look for blockages. DC’s heart cath confirmed that he had a major blockage, which presented the necessity for open heart surgery as soon as possible.
“Dr. Otalvaro deciding to perform the stress test and sending me to ARH for an immediate cath is really what saved my life,” said DC. Two days after his heart cath, DC was scheduled for double-bypass surgery, performed by Dr. James Shoptaw at ARH.
Aligning with their mission to “Extend the healing ministry of Christ,” MMH is able to help treat one of the most prevalent health needs in the area: cardiac disease. Together for Eastern Kentucky, collaborating with the Gill Heart Institute and ARH Cardiology Associates, has proven to offer life-saving heart care that is close to home. MMH reiterates its commitment to the people of Manchester and its surrounding counties by delivering high quality care, one heartbeat at a time.