She Received a Second Chance and a Fresh Start
Pat Peil enjoys her time exercising at the Fitness Center at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland.
Pat Peil of Midland admits she didn’t monitor her health as well as she should have. Caring for others took priority over caring for herself. “That seems to be an easy thing for many women to do,” she said.
She had been her mother’s caregiver for many years. After her mother passed away, Pat thought she would have the chance to work on her own health. “I knew what I needed to do, but knowing and doing are two different things,” Peil said.
Last fall, a nagging cold finally drove Pat to deal with her own health. She went to Urgent Care where physicians confirmed pneumonia but also detected a possible heart issue. They immediately sent her to the Emergency Department at MidMichigan Medical Center–Midland.
By the time Pat and her husband, Tim, got to the ER, the situation with her heart had escalated. “My heart went crazy and my blood pressure skyrocketed. I woke up the next morning on a ventilator,” she said.
Fortunately her heart had not sustained any damage from the previous day’s incident however other tests indicated she had developed type 2 diabetes.
After Pat recovered from pneumonia, she followed up with Interventional Cardiologist Karl Duncan, M.D. On January 4, he performed cardiac catheterization on Pat and found several blockages.
Three days later, Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeon Robert Jones, M.D., performed triple bypass surgery on Pat. “Dr. Jones was incredible,” she said. “He truly has a gift for dealing with people. He explained the whole procedure, showed me pictures of my heart, and even had a couple come talk me – another woman who had had the surgery. He was so reassuring.”
Pat said the rest of her life is changed because of the care she received from Dr. Duncan, Dr. Jones and the rest of the professionals at MidMichigan. “Every day I thank God for them,” she said. “They gave me a second chance at life.”
Pat is taking full advantage of her second chance. She diligently manages her diabetes and eats a heart-healthy diet.
She also knows that exercise is vital to her recovery and to lifelong health and began cardiac rehabilitation about seven weeks after surgery. “I love it,” Pat said. “I know it is critical for my physical and mental well-being.”
Pat said many others are benefiting from her experience as well. “My family and many friends are learning so much from this that they can apply to their own lives,” she said.
“I consider the rest of my life to be enriched,” Pat said. “I have more strength and energy than I ever knew. I hope others who find themselves in need of this procedure understand that it truly can be a fresh start.”
MidMichigan Health offers a full array of cardiovascular services, including open-heart surgery, electrophysiology for heart rhythm problems and advanced interventional procedures. Those who would like additional information about MidMichigan’s comprehensive heart program may visit www.midmichigan.org/heart.