Huron Regional Medical Center

Winter 2016

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+ + inthisissue Advanced Cardiac Care 2 From the CEO: HRMC — Building a Firm Foundation on Values 2 Whooping Cough Prevention 3 Compassion on Wheels 3 A Healthy Heart Starts Here 4 Building Strength, Finding Support 5 + + continued on page 5 A PUBLICATION FROM YOUR FRIENDS AT HURON REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER Winter • 2016 MAKING For brothers Dean and Merle Stevens, battling heart disease runs in the family. A lifelong farmer and rancher, Merle Stevens was accustomed to pushing through pain to get his work done. Unfortunately, the chest pain that accompanied a cold in October 2003 was more than Merle could bear, but also a sign that he was a Stevens through and through. "I felt like I had a plastic bag over my head and couldn't take air into my lungs," Merle says. "I went from having a chest cold to having bypass surgery 11 days later, which wasn't surprising. I knew my family history." Family Ties Merle's grandfathers both died as a result of heart disease, and his father, Gene, and his brother, Dean, had bypass surgeries to treat their heart conditions. In each case, the key to survival was detection and intervention. "If you are having symptoms, go get them checked out," says Dean, who underwent bypass surgery in January 2000 at the age of 47. "I was out of air and having chest pains. I went in for a stress test, and the news wasn't good. But I was lucky that everything happened as it did." A stress test revealed that Dean had five blocked arteries, high blood pressure and a thyroid condition. Bypass surgery and treatment for the thyroid corrected the problems for several years, but about a year and a half ago, certain symptoms began to resurface. "I may have pushed myself beyond my limits," says Dean, who felt tightness in his chest and pain in an arm more than 10 years after his first bypass surgery. "I had a good idea that something wasn't right." An angiogram and stress test confirmed that Dean was experiencing new cardiac complications, specifically a 95-percent blockage of one of his arteries. A balloon angioplasty reduced the blockage, encouraging healthy blood flow. "I feel so much better," Dean says. "My blood work is exceptional now, and I know how to rest when I need to." HEART HEALTH a Family Affair Merle (left) and Dean Stevens pose on saddles at the Double D Western – a clothing, gift and tack store owned by Dean and his wife, Judy.

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