Stop a Heart Attack Before it Strikes
Listen to your body. That’s Sharel LeMasters’ mantra after she felt suspicious chest pains and knew something wasn’t quite right. On the advice of her primary care doctor, Sharel went to the Emergency Department at Asante Three Rivers Community Hospital where emergency physician Peter Rist, MD, ran a series of tests and initially found… nothing.
But Sharel wasn’t convinced and neither was Dr. Rist. “Nothing showed up in the EKG, in my blood work, or in my knee bends,” Sharel recalls, running down the list of initial diagnostics commonly used to detect heart trouble. “I insisted there was something there and the doctor believed me.”
A stress test unveiled a clue. “I couldn’t finish the test. It put me right into pain.” Sharel was quickly referred to the cardiovascular lab at Asante Three Rivers Medical Center where an angiogram showed one of Sharel’s arteries was 95 percent blocked. A cardiologist with Southern Oregon Cardiology wasted no time scheduling Sharel for a stent procedure at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.
The next day Sharel was recovering comfortably, grateful for having evaded bigger problems. “If it hadn’t been for my doctors and the cardiovascular lab, I would have had a major heart attack,” Sharel says. “Thank heavens they have the lab in Grants Pass. As far as I am concerned, that saved my life.”
Opened in June 2009, the cardiovascular lab offers advanced heart care to patients in Josephine County. “Being able to care for patients quickly, right here in Grants Pass, is a major advantage and can improve outcomes,” says Brad Personious, MD, a cardiologist with Southern Oregon Cardiology.
For Sharel, it means a little extra spring in her step. “I feel wonderful. I have a lot more energy. I’m thankful for all the great doctors we have here who wouldn’t give up on me.”