Monday, January 7, 2008

anniversary of sorts

3 years ago today... I was sitting at my desk at work holding a cup of coffee in my hand and waiting on my computer to start up when my cellphone rang... Jonathon had went to the doctor 1 week earlier for shortness of breath where they detected a minor problem on an EKG, so on this day 3 years ago he was driving in for a scheduled stress test at 8am just to rule out any other issues. As I put my coffee down, grabbed my cellphone, I noticed the number calling me wasn't a familiar one. I answered and heard the calm voice of Dr. Connelly say 'Mrs. F., are you close to Rowan Regional?' I said, 'yes'. He then proceeded to tell me in the calmest way, ' while taking the stress test, your husband began suffering from a major heart event, and we need you to come to the hospital as safely and quickly as possible, we are preparing him for transport to Presbyterian right now. He's stable, for now.' I froze. Time stood still.

After taking this in, I asked that our office manager drive me there. When I arrived Dr. Connelly greeted me , told me to try and remain as positive as I could in front of my husband. This was hard! We left shortly after my arrival for Presbyterian. I was familiar with Presbyterian hospital, my father had quadruple bypass surgery there, my stepfather had a valve replacement there, and it was a scary thought as well as humbling to know that Jonathon would be placed in that medical team's care. I can't say enough about the Critical Care unit that transported us, they let me ride up front and kept me posted with every 2-3 minute updates on his stability. We were fortunate enough to be assigned doctors from my father's medical team, which I already knew and trusted... Dr. Hastings, Dr. Andrews, and Dr. Pasquini - as they took Jonathon back for a heart catheterization, I honestly thought 'ok, they'll probably need to do a balloon (angioplasty) procedure, or at worst, a heart stent.' They came out, asked me to come in... he needed bypass. 3 arteries with over 75% blockage. 2pm on January 7 began the longest 5 hours of my life. After surgery and several complications with the breathing machine, we began a lifelong journey of changes. At 34, this seemed unheard of, genetics played a tremendous role in heart disease. A simple cholesterol test can go a long way, but we never thought of doing one. It's constantly going through my mind how Jonathon was in our back yard the night before his heart attack playing a game and running with Ezra and this could have easily happened right then and there... but instead, he was at the right place, at the right time, with the right people.

3 years later we are glad to say that after 2 more stress tests (no problems on those!), and regular visits with the cardiologist, being more conscious of heart healthy food choices, there are no signs of heart disease, no signs of cholesterol concerns, and can say that his heart is a healthy heart.