David had quadruple bypass surgery in April at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. For a couple of years, he had felt winded while hiking, skiing and doing other strenuous activities, but stress tests never revealed a problem.
Rushing to catch a flight in the Charlotte airport made him realize, as he later told his cardiologist, Dr. Katie Twomley at Wake Forest Baptist Health Cardiology – Lexington, “something’s not right.”
“I had a really tight flight connection, and I got so winded I just about couldn’t make,” David says. “That was when I realized that, no matter what the stress tests showed, I knew myself well enough that I was in better shape than that.”
He and Dr. Twomley decided he needed more than a stress test, and the resulting cardiac catheterization revealed four blockages, each 75% or more and all in major arteries. His quadruple bypass was performed days later by Dr. Ted Kincaid.
David spent four days in the hospital and began rehabilitating by walking, which included a 12-week program with the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation staff at Wake Forest Baptist Health Lexington Medical Center. After that, David had no problem leading his Boy Scout troop on a hike.
“We did a 40-mile, five-day backpacking trip in the mountains, and I didn’t have a bit of problem,” he says.
Before he finished the cardio rehab program, David bumped into Tim at a local store.
“I asked how he was doing, and that led to questions about what kinds of symptoms he had had,” says Tim, who for a couple of years had felt winded when exerting himself and wondered what might be wrong. “What he told me mirrored some of the things I was experiencing.”
David encouraged Tim to trust what his body was telling him and to take action. Tim also went to Wake Forest Baptist Health Cardiology – Lexington and saw cardiologist Dr. Barrett Cheek, who scheduled a cardiac catheterization for Tim at Wake Forest Baptist Health High Point Medical Center. The procedure revealed a 95% blockage, which doctors quickly addressed by giving Tim two stents during the visit.
“I came home at 4 o’clock that afternoon and felt like I had dodged a bullet,” Tim says.
The same Lexington Medical Center cardio rehab staff—including Cynthia Hayes, Elizabeth Reid and Cathy Sink—who had cared for David worked with Tim to help him regain his strength, and both men praise the team. The two men who took charge of their heart health now have a common experience to share when they check in with each other periodically.
Says Tim, “Thankfully, we’re both success stories.”