Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March Madness heart attack leads to bypass surgery

Howard Winstead
March Madness can give any die-hard fan heart palpitations and high blood pressure. But when Howard Winstead was struggling to breathe during a University of Kentucky Wildcats game on TV, he knew something was seriously wrong.

Howard was no stranger to heart problems. He had been on cholesterol medication for 15 years, and saw Reid cardiologist, Jeffrey Haist, M.D., for regular checkups. In the months leading up to his heart attack, however, Howard was experiencing shortness of breath and had developed a persistent cough.

“The way Kentucky was playing that night, I probably wasn't the only fan to have a heart attack,” joked Howard, who is 68. “As my symptoms got worse, my daughter decided to take me to the hospital near my house. After about four hours, I was transferred to Reid Hospital. If I had it to do all over, I’d have gone to Reid first.”

Howard arrived at Reid at 4 a.m., and the staff very quickly identified three blocked arteries. Later that morning, he met with E. Paul Howanitz, M.D., a Reid cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. “Dr. Howanitz said I needed triple bypass surgery,” Howard said. “He answered all my questions, and then did my surgery that same day.”

After his surgery, Howard stayed at the hospital for about a week. “I couldn't have been treated any better at Reid,” Howard said. “Everybody—the doctors, nurses, housekeepers, every single person treated me great.”

Today, about a year after his surgery, Howard is back to his usual activities and feeling good. He follows up with Dr. Haist every few months, walks at least a mile a day, remodels houses for a living and, of course, cheers on the University of Kentucky basketball team every chance he gets!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Featured Posts

/* Track outbound links in Google Analytics */