Healing Gifts Spring 2014 - Change of Heart

change of heart Our hearts beat as one Advocate Sherman Hospital’s Heart and Vascular Center offered Joe Pompa the very best cardiac care from diagnosis through recovery. An accredited Chest Pain Center with Advanced Certification in Heart Failure, the hospital’s longestablished, award-winning program is focused on preventing, diagnosing and treating a wide array of heart conditions. That focus is shared throughout the Advocate Health Care system. With services ranging from community screenings to pediatric cardiology research to heart transplant surgery, Advocate has earned the trust of the most heart patients in Illinois. Funded in part by generous gifts from philanthropic community members, projects to improve cardiovascular services across Advocate are ongoing. Fundraising is now underway to boost three major projects designed to better serve heart patients by combining convenience and efficiency with the most advanced technology and expertise: • Heart and Vascular Institute expansion at Advocate Christ Medical Center—Christ Medical Center has expanded its facilities for outpatient services within the Heart and Vascular Institute. Charitable funds will also help purchase leading-edge technology and equipment, as well as fund preventive services, community education and outreach. • One-stop heart care at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital—Good Samaritan Hospital is renovating more than 21,000 square feet on the ground floor of its main building to bring together cardiac diagnostics, catheterization, rehabilitation, observation and recovery services into one convenient location. • New Heart and Vascular Center at Advocate South Suburban Hospital—South Suburban Hospital’s new outpatient facility will consolidate all cardiovascular programs, including a dedicated congestive heart failure clinic, into one space to make treatment more convenient and efficient. For more information, please call 630.929.6931. 4 – healing gifts – Spring 2014 Joseph Pompa believed healthy eating and exercise kept him in top shape, until a heart episode caught him by surprise. J oseph Pompa recalls October 9, 2013, in great detail: He exercised for an hour and a half in the morning, worked in the yard cutting branches, ran errands and enjoyed dinner out with his wife, watched television from 8-9 pm, and then climbed 15 stairs—with no problem—to get ready for bed. As he bent over to squeeze toothpaste onto his toothbrush, he experienced sharp chest pain. Believing it was a pulled muscle, he walked around while massaging the area, but the pain started to radiate across his chest and intensify. At that point, he went downstairs and told his wife she needed to drive him to Advocate Sherman Hospital. State of emergency On the 14-mile drive from Joe’s home in Marengo to Sherman Hospital in Elgin, he realized he should have allowed his wife to call an ambulance. He fought the reality of his increasing pain by thinking about how he had always eaten well, worked out five or six times a week and had not experienced any warning signs of health problems. He was an active 72-year-old. Even when the EKG technician in the emergency department informed him “Sir you are having a heart attack,” it was something Joe could not fully comprehend. “But fear set in when I heard those words,” he explains. “I had been so active all my life. What was my life going to be like if I survived?” That night, Joe underwent angioplasty to open a blocked artery, followed by a nine-day hospitalization. His heart was very weak, so he was discharged with an external defibrillator to wear in anticipation of receiving an implant. His ejection fraction (EF)—an important measure in determining how well the heart is pumping out blood and in diagnosing and tracking heart failure— was less than 30 percent (a normal EF is usually between 55 and 70). After discharge, Joe relied heavily on support from the Heart Failure Clinic and still does today. He repeatedly stresses how wonderful the staff and nurses in the clinic are—always taking as much time as he needs to talk through questions and answers to ensure he has clarity. “Many times medical lingo and having multiple physicians