At age 34, Angela Lawrence (pictured with her husband, Dave, with their dogs, Lucy and Bear at left) seemed an unlikely person to suffer a heart attack. But that’s just what happened on March 6, 2011.
“It was a Sunday afternoon, and my husband and I lay down on the couch to take a nap,” she recalls. “Suddenly he woke up and found me unconscious, stiff as a board, my face purple, and my eyes rolled back in my head. I wasn’t breathing, and he couldn’t find a pulse.”
Her husband, Dave, called 911, and the dispatcher led him through the steps of performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until Citrus Heights police officer Vincent Young arrived and took over. Although her heart stopped twice in the ambulance, paramedics revived her and Lawrence was still alive when she got to our Roseville Medical Center.
“Heart attacks are a leading cause of death in this country,” says Sat Giri, MD, director of Interventional Cardiovascular Services at our Roseville and Sacramento Medical Centers. “Quick action to restore normal blood flow in blocked arteries can prevent permanent injury to the heart muscle and ultimately save lives.”
In the Emergency Department, Dr. Giri and a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, emergency physicians, pharmacists, and nurses performed emergency coronary angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention, to unblock the arteries that supply blood to Lawrence’s heart.
Lawrence has since made a full recovery. She can’t even remember the events of that day or the five days that followed when she was placed in a medically induced coma while her body was chilled to preserve brain function.
She was recently reunited with her rescuers at a first responder appreciation lunch.
“I can’t say enough about the emergency personnel and team at Kaiser Permanente that took care of me,” she says. “My husband did the right thing by calling 911 right away.”
It’s never too early to think about preventing heart disease. Find tips on good heart health.
Our South Sacramento Medical Center will soon offer weight loss surgery for people with severe obesity.
“Weight loss surgery is one treatment option for people with severe obesity who have been unable to lose weight by traditional means, or who suffer from serious obesity-related health problems,” says Ann Neuhaus, MD, director of our Bariatric Surgery Program in South Sacramento.
“Research shows that obesity can result in serious health complications and early death,” she adds, “especially when combined with other diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.”
The surgery changes the stomach size or its connections and requires a lifetime of careful eating and vitamin support.
“Weight loss surgery can be a good option for people who can make these life changes,” says Dr. Neuhaus. “Our team of experts is dedicated to providing a high level of care, preparation, surgery, and post-recovery care.”
If you have questions about weight loss surgery, start by talking with your doctor. We also have online resources for losing weight. Or, learn about the free online healthy lifestyle program for losing weight, HealthMedia® Balance®.
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