Ready for the pickleball court again, thanks to Beebe
By Liz Leshine
After an active week of fun in the sun playing pickleball with friends, Scott and Miriam Clapper eagerly packed their bags Monday, June 20, for a summer journey to Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg.
Neither of them expected that Scott, a fit, slim 61-year-old, would begin to feel lightheaded, experience unusual chest pain and break out in a cold sweat as he brought the bags to the car. “I over-exercised and pulled something,” Scott thought to himself.
Soon enough, Scott knew what was happening was more than aches and pains, and he quickly alerted Miriam he wasn’t well. Scott arrived at Beebe’s Emergency Department via ambulance, and staff at Beebe were awaiting his arrival with medication.
“At least half a dozen team members greeted me,” recalled Scott.
After Scott was hooked up to a nitro drip, his cardiologist, Ehtasham A. Qureshi, MD, declared Scott had gone from emergency to urgent. At this point, the IVs and catheters were placed, and a family history was taken. It became clear that Scott had a family history of heart disease, and what was happening might have to do with heredity.
“If I can provide any words of wisdom,” Scott said emphatically, “If you have a history, hereditary or otherwise, see a cardiologist.”
While he was in the cath lab, the pictures showed his left anterior descending artery was 80-90% blocked, a finding often referred to as a widowmaker. Even during this critical time, Scott remembered Dr. Qureshi telling him he could go home or have the “gold standard,” which was the placement of a catheter in his heart. Of course, Scott chose the gold standard!
Doctors inserted the catheter and scheduled bypass surgery for Wednesday, two days later, during which Steven Marra, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon, grafted a healthy heart artery in place of the damaged one.
During this time, Scott was never concerned about the quality of care he was receiving, “Everyone working in the Cardiac ICU should have halos,” Scott said.
Scott took his first walk around the ward later Wednesday, and was up to two walks the next day. He remained in the ICU for the remainder of his stay, and he was released on the Saturday after his Monday arrival. Before his discharge, Scott’s nurses presented him with a lovely card and an autographed cardio pillow.
“The nurses took such pride in what they do, and they were proud of me,” Scott remembered. “Dr. Qureshi and staff were not just competent, but empathetic as well.” He noted that Dr. Quershi took the time to talk, not just poke, and a colleague of Dr. Marra, Dr. Ted Stephenson, told Scott, “If we thought you could receive better care somewhere else, we would send you there.”
Today, Scott is on limited medication, and he is looking forward to that trip to Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg with his family. He is also eager to return to the pickleball court to play rather than watch!
As a community-based, not-for-profit healthcare system, Beebe Healthcare depends on the generous support of the community it serves. To make a gift to celebrate the excellent care you or a loved one has received, visit Beebe Medical Foundation at beebemedicalfoundation.org or call 302-644-2900. Want to share your story? Contact Amanda Neal at [email protected].