Two Roads to Recovery - PIH Health

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Published on September 14, 2017

Two Roads to Recovery

Mr. Goodspeed

Mr. GoodspeedOn June 21, 2017, while most Californians were celebrating the beginning of summer, things weren’t looking so bright for Troy Goodspeed of Hacienda Heights. A retired Marine, Mr. Goodspeed was experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath--signs of a heart attack. A smoker since he was 11 years old, he also had a history of diabetes, glaucoma, hypertension and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Considering his medical history and symptoms, he and his wife decided to drive to the PIH Health Whittier Hospital Emergency Department.

The emergency room physician ordered some tests and confirmed that Mr. Goodspeed was indeed in heart failure. The staff sent him to the catheter laboratory (cath lab), an examination room in the hospital with special diagnostic imaging equipment that doctors can use to visualize the arteries and chambers of the heart. While there cardiologist, Paresh Patel MD, discovered triple-vessel coronary artery disease and a left ventricular aneurysm. Unfortunately, the severity of his condition combined with his medical history left Mr. Goodspeed with a five percent survival rate.

However, Eduardo Tovar MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at PIH Health, performed successful coronary artery bypass grafting surgery and repaired the left ventricular aneurysm. Mr. Goodspeed was then transferred to the critical care center (CCC) at the hospital. “Being in the CCC was almost a pleasure if I wasn’t so sick,” Mr. Goodspeed joked, and he was discharged on July 3. With his military background, he was impressed with the organizational skills of the PIH Health staff. “PIH Health Whittier Hospital is extremely efficient,” he said. “I don’t dread coming to this hospital at all--not like other hospitals.” It’s a good thing he felt that way, because he was about to get another chance at admission.

Mr. Goodspeed was doing well at home until exactly one month later. On August 3, he was back at the ER complaining of left arm and chest wall numbness. He told his wife he thought he might be having a stroke and insisted that she drive him back to PIH Health Whittier Hospital. A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a small, subacute stroke and he was admitted again. After receiving treatment for that condition, Mr. Goodspeed was discharged on August 5 and is now back at home. He has given up smoking and attends outpatient cardiac rehabilitation therapy three times a week.

Mr. Goodspeed and his wife made the right decision to come to PIH Health Whittier Hospital, which has been awarded The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Heart-Check mark for Advanced Certification for Comprehensive Stroke Centers. With these certifications, PIH Health joins an elite group of healthcare organizations focused on highly-specialized stroke care. With the right treatment, therapy and change of habits, Mr. Goodspeed can finally get the summer break he deserves.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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