Our patients are generous in sharing their stories so that you can have confidence in the type of care we provide. Take a moment to learn more about what you can expect at Asante.
Every Link Matters in the Chain of Survival
Gloria Ferguson’s story illustrates the importance of a rapid response to a heart attack or other severe heart event. Her life was saved thanks to the many different people who responded to a life-threatening event that occurred near Crater Lake, miles from the nearest hospital.
In 2012 the 52-year old math and science coordinator from Vancouver, Washington, was accompanying her 13-year-old son on a five-day Boy Scout bicycling trip that began at Crater Lake National Park. On the first day of the trip, Gloria developed severe chest pain. A Boy Scout leader drove her to the ranger station at the park’s south entrance, where she lost consciousness upon arrival. Two Boy Scout leaders started “fast and deep” chest compressions, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) was brought to the scene to help maintain Gloria’s heart rhythm until the Mercy Flights helicopter arrived.
The Mercy Flights crew diagnosed a heart attack and brought the critically ill patient directly to the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center cardiac catheterization laboratory, where a cardiac team had been alerted and was awaiting her arrival. From the moment Gloria arrived at Asante Rogue Regional, she received lifesaving emergent medical care. The team treated her with a cardiac stent to restore blood flow to the heart. She was also treated for cardiogenic shock and required an intra-aortic balloon pump and electrical cardioversion. Gloria was transferred to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, where she was on a ventilator for five days. Twelve days after admission, Gloria left the hospital with her husband and son and has since returned to work.
Gloria’s story exemplifies what can happen when each link in the chain of survival works: the prompt recognition of cardiac symptoms by the Boy Scout leader; the quick decision to head to the ranger station; the “fast and deep” chest compressions; the AED availability and its prompt and proper use; the rapid arrival and transport of the critically ill patient by helicopter; the direct transport from the helipad to the awaiting cath lab; and the rapid sequence of treatment that Gloria received once she arrived at the hospital—all saved her life.
Thanks to the training and the preparation of the many people in the chain of survival, Gloria made a full recovery.
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Minimally Invasive Surgery Makes Heart Care Available to More People
At 85 years old, Wanda Talley suffered a massive aneurysm in her aortic artery. An aneurysm occurs when a portion of an artery expands or balloons due to weakness in the wall of the blood vessel. In the past this would have been an untreatable problem for a woman in her eighties. In Wanda’s case, however, using a minimally invasive endograft stent technology available at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, surgeons repaired the aneurysm, leaving only a small incision in the groin.
Asante’s hybrid operating room was specifically developed with the technology to complete complex procedures like the one that saved Wanda’s life. Below is a letter we received from Wanda’s daughter following the surgery.
Hi. My name is Sheryl Cerri, and this story is about my 85-year-old mother who was told that she didn’t have a chance of survival if she had an operation on a thoracic aortic aneurysm that was already at 7 centimeters.
The doctor we were sent to see was Dr. Folsom. He was wonderful to my mother but didn’t think she could survive that big of an operation; and even if she did survive, there was a chance that she would be a paraplegic. He left the decision up to my mother (as I sat there crying) to have the surgery or not. My mother said she didn’t want to take that chance and would go home and live what life she had left.
Well, just as we were leaving, Dr. Folsom asked if he could talk to one of his colleagues about stents. We told him “sure,” not really thinking much about it because we thought she really didn’t have a chance.
Dr. Folsom took control of everything; he got everything lined up—the surgeons and the surgery. I felt he went the extra mile to save my mother’s life, and that is just what he did. I have never had a doctor who put so much effort into helping us out. He contacted Dr. Traul [David Traul, MD] and another surgeon to do the surgery, and he called us four different times to get this set up. He even got us a place to stay because we live in a small town by Klamath Falls. My mother’s surgery was a giant success. Her stay at the hospital was wonderful.
Most of the people I have talked to say my mother’s surgery is kind of a miracle because most people do not survive a thoracic aortic aneurysm.
I just want to say thank you, and every day I tell someone about your wonderful hospital and the amazing Dr. Folsom and his fellow surgeons.
Thank you so much.
Sheryl Cerri and my mother, Wanda Tully
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It’s Never Too Late to Get Your Life Back
Preston Mitchell is a musician, photographer, storyteller, and expert pool player. He was also born in 1917, the same year the United States entered World War I. Five years ago this active retiree came to Asante’s Heart and Vascular Center for the diagnosis of a heart problem: Preston was fainting but otherwise healthy. As it turned out, he needed coronary artery bypass graft surgery to correct stenosis in two vessels.
The surgery was a success, and since then Preston has returned to playing the string bass in the symphony at age 95.
Learn more about Preston's story...