Our dad, John was feeling like he was unable to get enough oxygen for about the last 6 months. He woke up in the night last week feeling like he was drowning. He had been having neck and back pain all week, which we later found out was due to pre warning signs of a heart attack that was coming, but he has endured neck and back pain for years so did not recognize it as anything to worry about. They rushed to a local hospital in our hometown and they verified that he was in Congestive Heart Failure and rushed him to the Veteran's Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. Further testing there showed an almost 100% blockage in his 'widow maker' artery, which is one of the main ateries of the heart. In addition to his, his aortic valve is almost completely nonfunctional at this point and needs replaced.
The cardiologist was an amazing person and we feel that after all of our prayers, they were being answered when we spoke with him. He told us the following: "Your dad is a very sick man. I am amazed he has lived through the last few months with how hard his heart is having to work, just to beat. If he hadn't had this heart attack and come in, he would certainly have died. The waiting list for the VA and their heart team for this surgery is 2-3 years. He will die on this waiting list. I have decided to move him to emergent status, due to his heart attack, so he is eligible to be transferred to another local hospital with very good heart surgeons and the VA will pay for it. I'm impressed with your dad and how he gets out there and washes cars and cleans them ( he works for Enterprise car rental ) for 12 hour days. I think everyone should work hard. I'm an old man and I choose to work because I think it's good for you to work."
He let us know that he needs emergency surgery ASAP. After meeting with the doctor's at Norton Hospital, the decided his surgery would be best performed as an open heart surgery. He needs at least a double bypass and a complete aortic valve replacement. They will also do an additional procedure at the end of his surgery, as long as everything is going well and this will hopefully prevent stroke in the future, due to his heart having been in Atrial Fibrillation ( heart beats at about the level of someone running all of the time ) for a few years. He has been on medication for this but they hope to possibly do a procedure that will take him out of Afib.
This surgery is very complicated, but we know he is in very capable hands and we have no choice at this point. Due to other risks like his diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight, this is a very scary surgery for him but he is ready to get through it.
His surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, August 29th at Norton Audobon in Louisville, Kentucky at 7:30 am.
We cannot thank you enough for your prayers and support through all of this. We feel your arms wrapped around us tightly, if even in spirit. We genuinely feel the arms of our God Jehovah, wrapped around us as well as the God of all comfort. -2 Corinthians 1:3,4. 💗