Steve’s Story

Site created on July 18, 2019

Steve Heemstra suffered a massive heart attack on Saturday, July 13, 2019.  The following entries tell his story.  Thank you for your interest, thoughts, prayers and support.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Marciana Heemstra

We sat in Steve’s Cardiologist’s office on Halloween waiting for the results of the 3 month post-heart attack echocardiogram.  We were nervous.  This three month scan would be hard evidence of permanent damage.  We expected little change from the 1 month echocardiogram, a heart muscle wall dead, the organ pumping adequately but not powerfully.  

With a quick rap on the door the doctor breezed in saying, “Well, everything looks normal,” as if it were some inconsequential bit of sharing like, “I had eggs for breakfast.”

“Wait.” Steve leaned forward, lifting his jaw off the ground.  “Run that by me again?  Did you say normal?”

The doc chuckled at our shock.  “Yes.  By all appearances your heart has returned to normal.  There is no visible sign of muscle damage.  The ejection fraction looks good.  I’m going to reduce some of your medications and we’ll keep you on them for another 6 months.  But, you probably won’t need them beyond this first year.”


We are going through the motions of telling people the good news.  We are going through the motions of resuming the routine of life.  We are going through the motions of normal, but honestly, it hasn’t sunk in.  Crisis can be like that I think.  It can be so all consuming that “normal” is not something recognizable.

Now don’t get me wrong.  We are very thankful.  We are very blessed.  It bears repeating that this happy outcome is not something we earned or deserved.  Life is a gift.  Period.  Eternity is real.  And our faith would be unchanged had the kids and I been visiting a grave on this day.  

”So doc,” says Steve with a conspiratorial whisper, “since I’m doing so well, can I be released from the Cardiac Rehab sessions?”

The doc chuckled again. “Sure.  I think that’s perfectly reasonable.”

~ Marciana for the family

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