Barbara Hunt is not one to sit idle and watch life pass her by. The 61-year old wife, mother of two and grandmother of four saw an Ultra Fast Heart Scan as an opportunity to be in control of her healthcare and her future. Her take-charge approach paid off.
|HEART STORY: BARBARA HUNT
It was February 2007 and Barbara, 59 at the time, had just hiked to the top of a mountain in Palm Springs, California and felt tired and winded, a new experience for someone who was very active.
"But, I said ‘I'm getting older, I'm not in the shape I used to be,'" recalls Barbara, an Aurora resident.
Two weeks later, after hearing from friends about the Ultra Fast Heart Scan being offered at Edward Heart Hospital, she went in for the screening which is used to detect the early build-up of calcium in the coronary arteries, the most common cause of heart disease.
Even though she thought she had no symptoms and a previous treadmill stress test showed nothing, Barbara was aware of a strong family history of heart disease.
"I just felt I should check it out, I had to take charge of my own health," she says.
The results showed a build-up of calcium, serious enough that she should see a cardiologist right away.
Mark Goodwin, MD, a diagnostic and interventional cardiologist with Midwest Heart Specialists, performed additional tests which confirmed and detailed the blockages that were suggested by the Ultra Fast screening.
Dr. Goodwin recommended surgery. On May 3, 2007, Bryan Foy, MD, FACS, FACC, medical director of cardiac surgery at Edward Heart Hospital and a thoracic surgeon with Cardiac Surgery Associates, performed a triple bypass on Barbara, who knows she's very fortunate.
"Dr. Foy told me that many times with people like me, their first symptom is when their head hits the pavement," says Barbara.
Following the bypass surgery, Barbara gradually resumed her active lifestyle, first through the cardiac rehab program at Edward Heart Hospital and now totally on her own, able to take part in whatever activities she chooses.
Like hiking, which she did again in February 2008 on a mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, just nine months following surgery and one year after the tiring climb in California.
"It was a victory hike. I flew up that mountain compared to Palm Springs," says Barbara.