A Reason to Celebrate

Chad Patterson received an unwelcome surprise on his 49th birthday. It was March 25, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in south central Michigan, and Chad was having a heart attack.

“Everything moved so quickly, there really wasn’t time to be scared,” Chad said. The Henry Ford Allegiance Health team was ready when he arrived and quickly moved him to the Cardiac Cath Lab. “Everyone was so confident and friendly, I knew I was in good hands,” Chad said.

Interventional cardiologist Matthew Jonovich, MD, discovered Chad had five blockages in three different arteries. One of them was 100 percent closed, stopping blood flow and requiring emergency intervention.

Dr. Jonovich cleared Chad’s 100-percent arterial blockage and restored blood flow to the heart using a minimally invasive procedure known as balloon angioplasty and stenting. Chad was happy the doctor was able to use a tiny incision in the wrist for the procedure, which is easier on the patient than the traditional approach which uses an incision in the groin.

In spite of everything, Chad said, “I considered 49 to be a happy birthday. I survived a heart attack, was able to return home to my wife, and did not contract COVID-19. The people who took care of me actually made it a good experience.” When Dr. Jonovich later cleared the additional four blockages, Chad was able to go home the same day.

Chad only missed four days of work—from the time of his heart attack through completion of Henry Ford Allegiance Health’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program and full recovery. “As a regional sales manager for Alro Steel, I was fortunate to be able to work from home, and I felt well enough to do that,” he said. He gradually returned to his full activity level on his family farm and is walking at least three miles a day.

Chad’s advice to others, especially if heart disease runs in your family, is to listen to your body. If something feels wrong, have it checked out before it’s too late.

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