My husband, John, and I are very thankful this year for our "heart
health" and Kirby Medical Center’s cardiac rehab sessions.
We are both survivors of heart issues.
You might say I became a patient at Kirby when I was born on November 18,
1941, in the John and Mary Kirby Hospital in Monticello. The hospital
had opened that year on January 20 in an old mansion. Through the years,
we've had various tests, X-rays, mammograms, etc. at Kirby Hospital.
We live in Monticello, and on Sunday, October 2, 2005, around 2 a.m. my
husband, John, was pacing the floor with what he called severe indigestion.
After a couple hours, the pain started moving up to his left shoulder.
I rushed him out to Kirby’s ER on State Street. When I went through
the sliding doors of the ER, I was met by Jay Lamb, a physician’s
assistant who was there that morning. He got my husband into an ER room,
ran tests, EKG, blood work, etc. and said it was a heart attack. Jay quickly
had a Kirby ambulance arrive, which transported John to Decatur Memorial
Hospital, where he was taken to the catheterization lab. He had 100% blockage
in a heart artery and had a stent placed in it by Dr. John Waters. John
was taken to the cardiac unit, and it was touch and go for the next few
days. A second stent was placed in December, and he took Cardiac Rehab
Phase II there at Decatur Memorial. Then he eventually returned to work
Our sincere thanks to Jay Lamb for being there for John at Kirby’s
ER that morning. Jay got John stabilized and transported to Decatur quickly
enough to save his life from a massive heart attack. Jay Lamb is now with
the Kirby Medical Group, seeing patients including my husband, John.
In August of 2008, I suddenly had a hard time breathing, and John took
me to Kirby’s ER. Tests were run, and the doctor could not find
anything wrong. Later in November, after the catheterization lab at Decatur
Memorial Hospital showed a 100% blockage, I underwent triple bypass surgery
on November 19, 2008. In January of 2009, I started Phase II Cardiac Rehab
at Kirby on State Street, under the watchful eye of Heidi Grieser, who
is in charge of cardiac rehabilitation there at Kirby. Later, I signed
up for Phase III Cardiac Rehab, which Kirby offers those who wish to continue
heart healthy exercise.
When Kirby Medical Center opened, we moved to their new therapy room, where
I have continued rehab. My husband retired January 1, 2015, from Caterpillar
and joined me at Kirby’s rehab at that time. So three mornings every
week we go out for cardiac rehab for an hour of exercise and blood pressure
and heart rate checks. We are the early birds, along with a few others
who arrive at 6 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.
We have also gotten acquainted with Duane Schlabach, the specialist who
fills in for Heidi when she can’t be there. We have met several
other patients with whom we have been able to share our "heart"
stories. We learn a lot from each other and have some fun times, too,
together. The new therapy room has windows to the north, through which
we can look out while exercising. Kirby now has a new Wellness Trail,
which runs just north of the hospital. It’s fun to watch others
out there while we are on the inside.
Kirby is a wonderful facility, and the entire community and surrounding
areas are very fortunate to have medical care so close to home. We have
less than a mile to drive out to the hospital.
I feel our quality of life is much better due to the weekly exercise and
am sure it has extended our lives.
So much to be thankful for this year!
Watch Thankful for Heart Health