Zelda Coleman of Hannibal, Missouri walks 3 miles a day on average and felt she was doing everything she could to be proactive in her health. Slowly Zelda noticed herself feeling increasingly tired and started to experience pain and heaviness in her arms. “It was a dull ache and the more I walked I noticed I could push through it, until one day I couldn’t,” describes Zelda. One afternoon when trying to complete her normal walking exercise, Zelda’s arm and chest pain became so intense she knew it was time to get to the hospital. Her husband drove her to Hannibal Regional Hospital, dropping Zelda at the emergency room entrance. “My husband went to park the car and when he returned they were already working on me!” Zelda was experiencing a heart attack; at this point, every second was crucial. “It was a shock because I’ve never had any heart issues and I’m a fairly healthy person.”
Zelda was admitted to the hospital and started on medication to keep her artery open. The next day Dr. David Lemons, Cardiac Interventionalist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group, performed a heart catheterization, which revealed that Zelda had a 99% blockage of her left anterior descending coronary artery, the main artery in the front of the heart. They opened the artery and placed a stent, and Zelda was able to begin her recovery with minimal damage. “Dr. Lemons had previously taken care of my neighbor, so I had heard of him. I’m so thankful we have doctors with his capabilities right here in Hannibal!”
“I could not have asked for nicer nurses. I was really impressed with how efficient and caring all of the staff were,” Zelda says of her stay at Hannibal Regional Hospital.
Zelda will now begin seeing Dr. Richard Valuck, a cardiologist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group, for regular heart checkups and she plans to complete the Cardiac Rehab program to help her regain strength and get back to her normal pace of life. “I have known Dr. Valuck for years through church. I like that he takes his time with me, even stopping to pray. It means a lot to me.”
For more information about the Cardiac Rehab program or to schedule an appointment with a cardiologist, call (573) 629-3500.