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Matt Bartell, ER/Cardiovascular Services Patient

Matt Bartell - Warren, MI

"I was treated very well. The care was excellent."

An Expert Team Helped Him Heal When an Emergency Visit Led to Bypass Surgery

Matt Bartell of Mt. Pleasant is normally a very active person. The 59-year-old has four children and spends most of his time working as a project manager at a restoration company. In his free time, he keeps himself busy riding his motorcycle and working on boats.

One day, however, Bartell suddenly began feeling tired and dizzy and his speech was slurring. "I thought I was having a stroke," he remembers. He immediately went to the Emergency Department (ED) at MyMichigan Medical Center Mt. Pleasant.

The doctors at the ED ran a number of tests on Bartell, including a blood panel. This revealed high testosterone levels in his blood, which can indicate stress and higher risk for cardiovascular problems. Bartell was scheduled for a cardiac stress test as a follow-up.

A cardiac stress test, also called a cardiopulmonary exercise test, is used to check how well a person's heart can respond to external stress. Electronic sensors are used to measure blood flow to the heart when the patient is at rest, then when running on a treadmill. In Bartell's case, his test showed that his heart was not receiving adequate blood and oxygen while he was performing a physical activity.

Waleed Doghmi, M.D., a cardiologist and advanced cardiac imaging specialist at MyMichigan Medical Center Mt. Pleasant reviewed Bartell's results and referred him to the cardiac catheterization lab at nearby MyMichigan Medical Center Midland. There Dr. Doghmi's colleague, Interventional Cardiologist William Felten, M.D., identified several blocked arteries as the cause of Bartell's symptoms. Dr Felten first tried minimally invasive procedures to hold the artery open but ultimately decided that Bartell needed a bypass.

Bartell was prepped for open-heart surgery at the Medical Center in Midland. Cardiovascular Surgeon Hassan K. Reda, M.D., used another artery from Bartell's body to go around the clogged one and provide a better supply of blood to his heart muscles.

Within hours, Bartell was on his way to recovery. "I was treated very well," he says. "The care was excellent."

Ultimately, Bartell only stayed in the hospital for four days following his surgery. However, his care didn't end there; after returning home, he had home care for a few weeks. He had a dedicated crew of providers monitoring his condition during this initial recuperation phase, periodically checking his blood pressure and taking him for short walks.

Bartell always felt that he was receiving the best level of care from MyMichigan Health. "They're a very well-qualified place," he says, adding that the professionals were good at explaining things to him. While many people were involved in his treatment and recovery, Bartell especially remembers the excellent care from Hospitalist Rita Jain, M.D.

As with any major surgery, the recovery process takes time. Doctors explained that it would take at least six months for a complete recovery. Compared to how he was feeling physically before the surgery, however, Bartell believes he has been doing well since. In the meantime, Bartell has been facing his recovery head-on. He has been returning to MyMichigan Medical Center Midland for his cardiac rehabilitation therapy. There, he works with exercise physiologists to gradually improve the strength and stamina of his heart in a controlled, supervised manner. He is now using several different machines there, including the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bicycle.

Bartell says he absolutely recommends MyMichigan Health to anyone who is having heart trouble. The advice he offers to those starting to feel symptoms of heart disease is: "Have a checkup. Do a stress test." He is certainly glad that he did.

MyMichigan Health offers a full array of heart and vascular services, including open heart surgery, vascular surgery, electrophysiology for heart rhythm problems and advanced interventional procedures. For additional information on MyMichigan's comprehensive cardiovascular team, visit www.mymichigan.org/heart.

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