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Cardiovascular | Heart Health

Tim Smith

Tim SmithWhen you exercise regularly and watch what you eat, you don’t expect to develop heart disease.

But that’s just what happened to Tim Smith. He had decided to start running again, but was concerned about some shortness of breath he had noticed. Tim went to his family doctor for a checkup. After an EKG indicated some abnormalities, Tim’s doctor suggested he get a cardiac stress test.

Since he lived in Kent, Tim scheduled his test at Robinson Memorial Hospital.

That test showed abnormalities, too.

The cardiologist told Tim he needed to have a heart catheterization performed as soon as possible. One of the nurses was particularly insistent, he remembers.

“She actually walked out to the lobby with me, grabbed my elbow and said ‘you really have to get this done this week,’” said Tim.

Thanks to her urging, Tim agreed to see a cardiologist at Summa Akron City Hospital later that week who immediately scheduled the catheterization.

“During the catheterization, we found out that I was not just a time bomb walking around – I was a lit fuse,” said Tim. “I had 95 percent of my left main artery blocked, which was going to kill me. It’s commonly referred to as the ‘widow maker.’ I could not have made it much longer based on the condition I was in.” Tim was whisked directly from the cath lab to the operating room, where a Summa cardiothoracic surgeon performed a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).

“I was perfectly comfortable with being at Summa because I knew the reputation was great,” Tim said. “I don’t think there’s any place where I could have gotten better care. We went from the discovery of the blockage to 45 minutes or so later being in surgery. That process was amazing.”

“I went into rehab really early…I started driving early,” said Tim, “I attribute it all to getting really good care from nurses that cared. They cared about me as a person.”

Today, Tim feels great and is extremely thankful for his Summa experience. “I’m vertical – and that feels really good.”

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