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Cardiology Patient Finds Care She Needs at Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center

Posted Date: 2/1/2022

Sandy and her puppy, Zoey. 

When Sandy Campbell began experiencing heart palpitations, she immediately knew that it could be a serious issue. After blockages in her heart were identified, she trusted the Mon Health Heart and Vascular team for her care. 

Sandy described the feeling of her heart palpitations as her heart "flip flopping" in her chest. She made an appointment with her primary care provider who scheduled an EKG and bloodwork to find the cause of the palpitations. Sandy had lost both her father and grandmother to heart issues, so when the results came back normal, she knew something still wasn't right. 

"My provider asked if I wanted to do a stress test and have a heart monitor placed on to try to figure out the cause. I decided to do that, I'm glad that I was an advocate for my heart health," said Sandy. "I failed the stress test terribly on the tread mill."

After failing her stress test, Sandy began seeing Dr. Morgan Lyons, Cardiologist at Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center. Dr. Lyons suggested a heart catheterization and involved Dr. Wissam Gharib on Sandy's care. 

"They suspected that I might have a blockage and the only way to find out if I did was a heart catheterization," she said. "I was scared because I thought my problem was because of my anxiety as I was dealing with my mother losing her life to Alzheimer's at the time. I didn't think there was a true problem."

During surgery, they identified a 90% blockage of one of Sandy's arteries leading to her heart and placed a stent to fix the issue. They also found several arteries with 50% blockages and planned to use medication to fix those concerns. 

"I was scared to death but so happy that everything went well. I never thought for a minute that I would have that large of a blockage and I was made at myself for getting in that situation. They explained to me that some of the cause could be hereditary, but a lot of the cause was personal care and fitness. I needed to lose weight and watch my diet to help myself stay healthy," Sandy said. 

Sandy began cardiac rehabilitation following the surgery and graduated from the program in December 2021. She no longer experiences heart palpitations and spends time every day getting her steps in, even on snow days, and eating healthy. 

"I was a bit leery to start exercising again but the cardiac rehab team was so encouraging, and they were there for me every step of the way. We started out slow and increased when we felt I was ready," she said. 

Sandy was born and raised in Morgantown and worked in the banking industry until her retirement in 2014. She has been married to her husband Roy for 52 years, and together they share one daughter who is a teacher in Mon County. Sandy enjoys crafts, reading, and playing with her puppy. 

"Dr. Lyons and Dr. Gharib are both so knowledgeable and kind, and they took the time to explain everything to me. My care was fantastic, the nurses were great, and surgery went smoothly. They all assured me that they do this every day. They are the true experts in this area." 

February is Heart Month, and there is no better time to be heart smart and think about your heart health. To learn more about the Mon Health Heart and Vascular Center, visit MonHealth.com/Heart.
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