Michael McGovern, a 57-year old Naperville resident, looked forward to his daily workout at the Edward Health & Fitness Center. Other than a slightly elevated cholesterol level, he considered himself to be in good health. And, he felt fortunate that heart disease didn't run in his family. That's why he was shocked to learn he needed triple bypass surgery.
After reading about HeartAware, Edward Hospital's free online assessment for heart disease, Michael decided to take the five minute test. Results of the screening led to an in-person visit, a consultation with a heart nurse and an Ultra Fast Heart Scan, which is used to detect the early build-up of calcium in the coronary arteries, the most common cause of heart disease.
McGovern's results indicated he had calcium build-up. In fact, his score was 1280, indicating an extremely high level of plaque.
An appointment with Stanley Clark, MD, a cardiologist with Edward Hospital and Midwest Heart Specialists. Further testing delivered the most shocking news to McGovern - he needed to undergo triple bypass surgery as soon as possible.
Most of the surgery and the first few days of recovery back in July are a blur to McGovern.
"My experience was extremely emotional for me, but Edward made everything very comfortable for me. The nurses were caring and the physicians took care of me as if I was a member of their family. I couldn't ask for more," says McGovern, who is the father of three grown children.
During his recovery, McGovern experienced some fatigue and participated in cardiac rehab. He was anxious to return to work as a sales manager at Sun Chemical.
"I consider myself to be a very lucky person," he says. "The doctors told me that it was only a matter of time that something massive would have happened. I really dodged a bullet this time."
McGovern hopes his experience will encourage other people to take the steps to learn about their risks for heart disease.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without these screening tools. Without them, I would have had a heart attack and I can only imagine the effects that would have on my life and my family.
"I've told my friends to take this test and find out your risk before it's too late."