Pat Bradley, a 58-year old Woodridge resident, wife and mother of four adult children, hadn't been feeling well but didn't have any symptoms that she would have associated with heart trouble.
|HEART STORY: PAT BRADLEY
"That's another reason I want to tell this story because women typically don't have the same symptoms as men," says Pat. "All I recall is a vague burning sensation."
In addition, despite slightly elevated blood pressure, she had no reason to suspect anything - she's active, eats well, is not overweight and doesn't smoke.
Not feeling well was enough reason for Pat's friend, Yvette Saba, to strongly urge her to take the HeartAware test.
Pat's results showed she was at-risk for heart disease.
In the next few days, Pat quickly progressed through additional testing. Peripheral vascular screening showed partial blockage in her carotid arteries. That was followed by an Ultra Fast Heart Scan at Edward Heart Hospital.
"My score was very high, so high that the cardiac nurse said I needed to see a cardiologist soon," says Pat.
She did that, meeting with William Stephan, MD of Midwest Heart Specialists. The first order of business was a stress test. "I flunked big time," says Pat.
An ensuing angiogram showed coronary artery disease in a location and so extensive that neither stents nor angioplasty were viable options to correct the problem.
"He said, ‘You need bypass surgery.' I said ‘whoa!'"
Bryan Foy, MD, FACS, FACC, medical director of cardiac surgery at Edward Heart Hospital and a thoracic surgeon with Cardiac Surgery Associates, performed the surgery at Edward Heart Hospital the next day.
"In the span of one week, I went from doing the HeartAware online screening to having triple bypass surgery," says Pat.
Less than a week after that she was at home and started a walking program. She's now taking part in the early phase of cardiac rehab at Edward Heart Hospital. And, she's returning to work soon as the manager of the obstetrics department at Edward Hospital.
Her friend, Yvette, is the administrative director of cardiac services at Edward Hospital and one of the people responsible for making the HeartAware test available and the person who pushed Pat to take the test that saved her life.
"It was the best thing anybody has ever recommended to me."