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Linda’s Story: A Nurse’s Wake-Up Call

Linda_Story_Content_1Linda Raterman, a nurse at Miami Valley Hospital since 1972, had seen the warning signs for heart disease and even had the test results to prove it.

In 2012, Linda had undergone coronary artery calcium scoring at Premier HeartWorks that revealed she was at a higher risk for heart disease. Premier Health cardiologist, Mukul Chandra, MD, advised her to take immediate steps to avoid much more serious problems.

“Though I consider myself a good nurse, I was a very bad patient,” said Linda. “I didn't want to be on cholesterol medication. On top of that, I was overweight, and my blood pressure was up, but I didn't want to be on blood pressure pills. I just didn't see the reality. I was in denial, and I thought I would take care of it myself. I thought I would try to exercise and lose weight, and, of course, that did not work out for me at all.”

Linda would indeed see Dr. Chandra again, but it wouldn’t be until three years later when she began feeling dizzy and had noticeable indigestion – but no chest pain - while at work. She would find herself in the emergency department after a nursing colleague took her blood pressure and discovered it was dangerously high. An exercise stress test would lead Dr. Chandra to perform a cardiac catheterization and discover that she was in serious trouble.

“I had major 80 to 90 percent blockages in three coronary arteries, and an aneurysm, in the fourth,” said Linda. “With all of that occlusion, I should really be dead.”  

Linda_In_Content_2Instead, Syed Zaman, MD, a Premier Health cardiothoracic surgeon, successfully performed a four-vessel coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) that she credits with saving her life. Remarkably, there was no lasting damage to her heart muscle. Linda now maintains a healthy lifestyle and carefully follows her doctor’s orders.

Though her story has had a happy ending, it is an exception among women who fail to take proper precautions to care for their hearts.

“Most people aren’t aware, but more women die of heart disease than all cancers put together,” said Dr. Chandra. “Breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancers; none of them add up to the number of women who die of heart disease.”

Dr. Chandra indicates that women are often overlooked, and many aren’t aware of their symptoms before it’s too late.  

“Linda's problem probably started 15 years before her bypass,” said Dr. Chandra. “Up to 80 percent of heart disease can be prevented. If you start looking for early signs when you are in your 30s and 40s, with a combination of blood pressure and cholesterol checks, routine exercise and healthy diet, and coronary artery calcium scoring if your doctor recommends it, you might avoid a heart attack or prevent yourself from a stent or open heart procedure”

In addition to coronary artery calcium scoring, Premier Health physicians may use other evidence-based outpatient cardiac testing to evaluate patients’ risks for heart disease.

“I often refer to the coronary artery calcium score as a ‘mammogram for the heart’ since it lets us spot problems at a much earlier stage and allows us to take steps to avoid more advanced stages of disease,” said Dr. Chandra.  “Believe me, it’s the best money you will ever spend in your life.”

Don’t Give Your Heart to Just Anyone. Trust Premier Health. 

With as much compassion as we have commitment, facilities located throughout the region, and an extensive, experienced physician network Premier Health offers award-winning, quality heart care close to home. 

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Premier Health’s cardiovascular services and programs, please call (937) 499-7427.

Content Updated: October 23, 2018

These Miami Valley Hospital locations offer Cardiology Services.
Cardiology and Vascular Services at Miami Valley Hospital
One Wyoming St. Dayton, OH  45409
Outpatient Cardiac Testing - Beavercreek
2619 Commons Blvd. Suite 102 Beavercreek, OH  45431
Outpatient Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation at Medical Imaging – Beavercreek
1244 Meadow Bridge Dr. Beavercreek, OH  45434
Outpatient Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation at Medical Imaging - Jamestown
4940 Cottonville Rd. Jamestown, OH  45335
Outpatient Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation at Miami Valley Hospital
One Wyoming St. Dayton, OH  45409
Outpatient Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation at Miami Valley Hospital - Cardiovascular Services
122 Wyoming St. Dayton, OH  45409
Outpatient Cardiac Testing and Rehabilitation at Miami Valley Hospital South
2400 Miami Valley Dr. Centerville, OH  45459
Outpatient Cardiac Testing and rehabilitation services at Miami Valley Hospital North
9000 N. Main St. Englewood, OH  45415
Outpatient Cardiac Testing at Miami Valley Health Center - Huber Heights
6251 Miami Valley Way Huber Heights, OH  45424
Outpatient Cardiac Testing at Miami Valley Health Center Greenville
742 Sweitzer St. Greenville, OH  45331
Premier HeartWorks at Miami Valley Hospital South
2400 Miami Valley Dr. Centerville, OH  45459
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