|PATIENT STORY: KRIS CHRZAN
58-year old Kris Chrzan of Naperville knew something wasn't right. Because she heeded her body's warning signs, she received the proper assessment and treatment in Edward Hospital's emergency department and, three days later, underwent life-saving heart surgery. Here is her story.
Kris hadn't been feeling well the week leading up to Saturday, June 7. She had been feeling pressure in her head, was short of breath and noticed it was taking longer to recover from physical activity of any kind.
"I was hoping it wasn't my heart, thinking it wasn't my heart," recalls Kris.
But, Kris knew she couldn't ignore the symptoms because of her own medical history (a heart attack in 1993 that was treated with medication, no surgery) and her family's medical history (heart disease and bypass surgery for both her mom and dad).
A blood pressure screening at a local grocery story came back with a reading of 239/114.
"That's bad," said Kris. "I knew right away I was in big trouble."
Kris called Jean Houlihan-Henderson, MD of Edward Medical Group, who advised Kris to seek emergency care immediately. An ambulance transported her to Edward's emergency department.
"They quickly inserted an IV, tested my enzyme levels, did a chest X-ray and an EKG," remembers Kris. "And, the ER nurse was fantastic."
Kris stayed at Edward over the weekend and had an angiogram on Monday, after which a Midwest Heart Specialists cardiologist, William Stephan, MD, told her she needed surgery to correct blockages in her heart.
Bryan Foy, MD, a thoracic surgeon with Cardiac Surgery Associates and medical director of cardiac surgery at Edward Hospital, performed a triple bypass on Tuesday, June 10.
"Being that blocked, I feel very fortunate," says Kris. "Dr. Foy said it wasn't a matter of if, but when and something would've happened in the near future."
Six days after surgery, Kris was at home, up and walking. Nearly five months later, she's well into cardiac rehab and a new heart healthy lifestyle with a message to anyone in a situation similar to the one in which she found herself this past June.
"Pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you. If your body is sending signals that something is not right, listen to it."