Scott was juggling a high stress position, traveling constantly, and little time to consider what was really important. In March of 2017, while away on a business trip he suffered what he believes was a heart attack. Fortunately, he recovered on the trip without having any serious consequences, but when he got home, he followed up with a cardiologist. He was scheduled for his first Angiogram in March of 2017. During the Angiogram, his Cardiologist, Dr. Peter Kures, found evidence that Scott had actually suffered a mild heart attack. In a 2nd Angiogram, He implanted a stent. As it turns out, the stent did not provide a complete fix and on Scott’s 50th birthday, he found himself waste deep in an open heart surgery intake. Dr. Gary Mak, Scott’s new cardiologist had determined that Scott needed a coronary artery bypass or a CABGx4 to bypass blockages that he had in the left anterior descending artery (LAD) and the posterior descending artery.
Since the surgery was not considered an emergency, it was scheduled out about 2 weeks allowing insurance to approve the doctor’s recommendation. Then as luck would have it, it was bumped yet another week because an emergency surgery took priority.
Finally, on January 2, 2018, Scott was headed for the OR at Overlake Hospital. Scott suffered Atrial Fibrillation or AFib, during the procedure. AFib is a condition where the heart races or flutters rather than beats. This condition eventually resolved itself.
Once the surgery was over, Scott was taken to ICU. He spent three days in ICU, primarily because there was a shortage on hospital beds in the cardiac care unit. Scott’s ICU visit was extended to three days. Then to his amazement, due to the shortage of beds available, he landed a corner, private room that he described to be more of a suite and spent his final three days there.
His surgery had been performed by Dr. David Nelson, a highly respected heart surgeon in the Seattle area. In the process of preparing for the grafts, they harvested one of Scott’s Saphenous Veins, his left Radial Artery and his left Mammary Artery. It is Scott’s understanding that the material from his Radial Artery served to complete two of Scott’s four bypass grafts.
Scott could have probably been a poster boy for heart disease. He was over-weight. He had diabetes and a history of high blood pressure. His lipids were always out of range. While he didn’t smoke, he certainly lived a high stress and inactive lifestyle. And, like so many others with heart disease, he also had a family history. His grandfather died of a heart attack. His father had a host of problems which possibly masked any heart problems he may have had, so Scott doesn’t know for sure if his father had heart disease. He died of a pulmonary embolism.
Once Scott arrived in the ICU, he began to think about what was really important to him. “No one ever dies wishing they had worked more,” he said. So from his hospital bed, he resigned from his high stressed life on the road and vowed to do things he felt were more important. He recently completed one of his largest short term recovery goals when he hiked to the top of Tiger Mountain. On Friday, May 4, 2018, just over 4 months since his surgery, Scott graduated cardiac rehabilitation and was making plans to tour Europe. We wish Scott the best of luck and a long life.