With the many advances in care and treatments, today’s patients have more and more reasons to expect the best outcomes. Here are the incredible stories of our patients and their journeys. Click on a thumbnail and scroll down to view each story.
For months, Wyman Wise experienced a variety of symptoms like chest pain, numbness in the arm, fatigue and shortness of breath. He disregarded these concerns, as he assumed his stricter fitness routine was to blame. Wyman did not realize his symptoms were signaling a heart attack.
As a young 51-year-old man with mildly elevated blood pressure, Wyman believed his ongoing chest discomfort was his body trying to adapt to the increased stress on his body. For eight months, Wyman's wife Callie persistently encouraged him to visit his doctor. As the symptoms worsened, Callie scheduled an appointment with Dr. Amit Pande, a cardiologist with McLeod Cardiology Associates in Little River.
Dr. Pande ordered an echocardiogram, or an ultrasound using soundwaves to produce live images of the heart. Wyman also underwent a stress test to gather more information about his heart's limitations. A stress test measures how hard the heart works during physical activity and can show problems with blood flow.
The results of Wyman's stress test were alarming, so Dr. Pande scheduled a follow up in his office the next day. During his visit, Wyman mentioned he was currently experiencing chest discomfort.
"As Mr. Wise's stress test did have concerning EKG changes and with ongoing chest pain, I worried about unstable angina or an impending heart attack, so I sent him directly to the McLeod Health Seacoast Emergency Department,” said Dr. Pande.
While in the Emergency Department, Wyman’s care team performed a bloodwork panel. Results showed an elevated troponin level. This is a type of protein found in the muscles of the heart. Troponin is not normally found in blood, so when detected, it is clear something concerning has occurred. When heart muscles become damaged, troponin is sent into the bloodstream. As heart damage increases, greater amounts of troponin are released in the blood. This test verified Wyman had experienced a heart attack.
“As the blood work results showed abnormal troponin, my suspicions were confirmed,” said Dr. Pande. “I started Mr. Wise on blood thinners to reduce the risk of a blood clot and transferred him to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence for further intervention.”
“As a Florence native, I knew the reputation of McLeod Health and felt at ease with Dr. Pande’s decision to transfer me,” said Wyman.
Wyman was diagnosed with a type of heart attack that usually occurs when the heart's need for oxygen is not met. A heart catheterization showed several blocked vessels which required stenting repair. A stent is a small mesh tube used to assist the repaired passages in the body, specifically weak or narrowed arteries, to remain open. When stents are implanted, this strengthens the vessel allowing oxygen-rich blood to reach the heart.
Dr. Ravi Parikh and Dr. Alan Blaker with McLeod Cardiology Associates in Florence implanted seven stents in Wyman's coronary arteries.
"When Mr. Wise arrived, it was concerning to see how many vessels were blocked," said Dr. Blaker. "Dr. Parikh and I carefully assessed his condition and determined which areas needed immediate intervention."
After the cardiologists monitored his progress during a six-day hospital stay, Wyman was discharged home to recover. To help recuperate, the cardiologists referred Wyman to McLeod Health Seacoast to complete four weeks of cardiac rehabilitation.
"Through all of this, I've realized the importance of listening to my body, and my wife," said Wyman. "Because of my age, I never suspected a heart attack could occur. However, I am thankful for McLeod Health and the physicians who ensured I made it through this unpredictable time."
Wyman and Callie live busy lives in North Myrtle Beach as insurance business owners.
“I’ve built my life’s work around helping others prepare for their own health emergencies and encouraging them others to be proactive in taking care of their families,” said Wyman. “This experience has given me a truly new perspective. I encourage others to pay attention to their bodies and take time to enjoy life with special friends and family.”