For Miami Valley Today
TROY — When Scott Sales sought medical treatment for respiratory problems, he never thought he’d end up in a heart catheterization lab, let alone become a milestone patient for the Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) Level II Catheterization Lab.
The Troy resident this spring became the 100th patient in the lab, which opened July 30, 2018.
After a successful procedure that included placement of stents, red heart-shaped balloons were brought to his room along with a cart accompanied by a couple of staff members.
“They said the 50th, and now the 100th, patient in the new cath lab were being recognized by the cart visiting staff and giving out treats on all floors. On that day, it was in my honor,” Sales said. “I thought that was just so special.”
The procedure and celebration followed a couple of weeks of medical issues such as shortness of breath for Sales, who visited the hospital’s emergency department first on March 2 and then on March 14. That morning, he found himself gasping for air and headed to the ED when he felt as if he were suffocating.
After tests, the decision was made to monitor Sales in the hospital because of air exchange issues in his lower lungs. While talking later in the day to a doctor, Sales asked about an ED doctor’s comment that day about signs of plaque in a coronary artery.
A test was arranged for the next morning. A couple of hours later, Aaron Kaibas, MD, Bryan King, MD, and Sue Hoying, a nurse practitioner, came into his room and told him the test was abnormal.
Sales was shocked. He recalled that Hoying “sat on the edge of my bed and held my hand and assured me everything was going to be OK.”
Sales received the news on a Friday with the procedures scheduled for the following Monday. “I was told I’d be watched on telemetry over the weekend. My pumper was only pumping 26 to 30 percent,” he said. “At least I didn’t have a heart attack first. Most people do.”
Before the Monday procedures, five people came into his room. “They said they were the cardiac team in the lab and wanted to stop by and let me know what each one of us do,” he said.
During the procedure by Palaniappan Muthappan, MD, Sales received three stents.
“Later that afternoon, who pops into my room? The five people that work up in the cath lab to make sure I was OK,” he said. “It was just the happiest, loving, caring, compassionate group of people.” The team visited again the next day before his release, Sales said.
He also had a visit from Tom Parker, UVMC president, after asking if he could speak to him about issues including insurance and his care. Parker shared that he, too, was personally aware of the lab services after being a patient a few months earlier.
Sales said he couldn’t say enough about his own care.
“I never felt one time that people didn’t have time for me. I truly felt that all I had to do was say something and someone would be right there,” Sales said.
It was not an accident his heart issues were found during the ED visit, he said. “God put me there or I would have ended up having a heart attack somewhere. And, the outcome would not have been so good,” Sales said. “I praise the Lord and that team.”