Saturday, June 5, 2021
Team Marn2 Members
Why We Walk
2021 Lake & Geauga Counties Heart Walk Digital Experience
April 27, 2009. My day to remember. Not only did this day open my eyes, but it literally opened my heart as well. I am John Marn and here is my story.
I was 62 years old and working for the City of Willowick. My job in April, is preparing the baseball diamonds for the season. While working, I started having mild chest pain. Drinking water and resting did not help. Several days before this, I noticed extreme tiredness.
A co-worker drove me to the Willowick Fire Department. The EMS place me into the ambulance to look me over. I was assured that I was having a heart attack. My clothes were cut off my body, while being hooked up to different gadgets. I was rushed to Lake Health West Medical Center ER. Once there, I went to the Cath Lab for Emergency Cardiac Catheterization. Cardiologist, Dr. Timothy Doyle, MD placed a stent in the artery behind my heart. This opened up the artery to allow blood flow to the heart. The procedure was done in less than 60 minutes. Afterward, I felt terrific.
One week was spent at Lake Health West being evaluated. It was determined I had Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). Blockages were in four of my arteries. In June, I’d be back for the quadruple bypass surgery.
June 10th, 2009 – My open heart surgery would be done by (Cardiothoracic Surgeon) Dr. Rami Akhrass, MD. The operation took about 6 hours. My wife, family and friends sat in the waiting room, receiving tidbits of information from doctors and nurses on the status of my operation. It was successful!
After surgery, came ICU, Step Down and finally my own room. My stay at Lake Health West was almost a week. Many tubes and machines were attached to my body. Gradually, a tube was removed here and there. Then the machine and all that was left was pain.
Nurses walked me for short distances soon after my surgery to prevent blood clots and bed sores. I praise the nurses and doctors at Lake Health West. They all took excellent Care of me. My week ended and I was going home. At home, I took a look in the mirror and wanted to die. Parts of my body were black & blue, swollen and a long scar went down my chest. Mentally, I felt depressed. Was this me? The word “temporary” planted itself in my mind. Remember, all of this is temporary.
I walked a lot in June and July, increasing my steps and stamina. Soon my black and blue areas started to diminish. My swollen areas receded and I looked and felt better.
The end of July, I started 12 weeks of rehab at Lake Health West. The surgery had been great for fixing the heart but rehab brought life back into it. Rehab taught me to live life-the correct way. The staff cares for each patient differently based on their personal needs. By the time you leave, you will know how to exercise, eat healthy, take meds, control stress and take control of your life again. I definitely recommend rehab for anyone who has had a heart event.
I now walk 5 miles or more every day. The scar on my chest, now faint, is my badge of courage. A reminder of the steps I took getting my life back on track.