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.
Steve Reaves admits that he had not seen a primary care physician in years. He now believes taking the time could have meant learning about his previously undetected high blood pressure sooner and possibly avoiding his six-vessel bypass surgery with McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon Dr. Srinivas Kolla.
Unmanaged high blood pressure is often referred to as “the silent killer.” Patients may not experience any symptoms, placing them at an increased risk for heart disease, heart failure and stroke.
In August 2022, Steve spent a Friday afternoon cutting grass at his home in Florence, SC. He stopped to take a water break in the shade and started to feel light-headed and dizzy.
“I was not experiencing any chest pain or arm pain,” said Steve. “I thought I was suffering from heat exhaustion, so I went inside the house and tried to lower my body temperature with a cool bath. While I was in the tub I fell and hurt my shoulder.”
Steve’s wife Donna came home and found him in his weakened condition and determined with his shoulder injury a trip to the Emergency Department was warranted.
Steve was diagnosed as having experienced a heart attack. A heart catheterization revealed he would need bypass surgery to repair the blockages.
At McLeod Regional Medical Center, Donna and Steve met Dr. Kolla. “There was no question after meeting Dr. Kolla that we wanted him to perform Steve’s surgery,” said Donna. “He was so kind and reassuring, and he spent time answering all of our questions.”
Steve was born at the old McLeod Infirmary, the original McLeod hospital. Other than having his tonsils removed as a child, he says the heart surgery was his only time being in the hospital.
“The whole experience was wonderful,” said Steve. “Everyone had our best interest at heart. The technicians and nurses were amazing and the housekeeper who cleaned my room was so kind and caring.”
Today, Steve is fully recovered and spending time with his family, continuing to exercise and participating in McLeod Cardiac Rehabilitation at the McLeod Health & Fitness Center.
“My wife and I really feel it is a miracle how my journey to recovery all happened,” said Steve. “We believe God has kept me here for a purpose and we hope that part of that is in helping others who can benefit from me sharing my story.
“I would like to encourage anyone who has not had seen their primary care physician recently to take the time to make an appointment. I made the mistake of believing that just because you feel good it was not important. Things like high blood pressure can go undetected. Taking care of yourself is imperative for you and your loved ones,” added Steve.