Lynn Perry is unaware of any heart problems in his family background, and has always felt that he had no reason to have any testing done.
But when he and his wife, Dianne, passed by the Sanford semi-trailer at the South Dakota State Fair in 2016, they decided on a whim to schedule an appointment to have health screenings done.
A few days later, the couple returned for their vascular screenings, which included chest X-rays, cholesterols tests and blood pressure checks.
Expecting to pass the tests with flying colors, Perry was surprised to learn that his arteries had a high calcium buildup. He was advised to have an echogram test done as soon as possible.
Following the echogram, Perry was sent to Sioux Falls for a stress test. He received a “good effort” grade on the test, and he remembers saying to Dianne, “What does that mean?”
Perry was soon to find out the seriousness of his condition when the doctor scheduled him just days later for an angioplasty procedure to restore blood flow through his blocked arteries. The doctor also prepared Perry mentally for stents to be put in to keep the arteries open.
“But that didn’t happen,” Perry said. Unbeknownst to him, 30 minutes after he was taken back for surgery, the doctor realized that Perry’s situation was more extensive than had been diagnosed.
Dianne remembers the fear she felt when the doctor came to the waiting room much sooner than expected and escorted Perry’s family to a private room for consultation.
An angiogram had shown four veins trying to reroute the blood flow to Perry’s heart because of the blocked arteries.
The doctor’s course of action changed to quadruple bypass surgery, replacing damaged arteries with a large vein from Perry’s thigh.
Three days later, he was back home at Lamb Acres, the couples’ sheep operation in Bancroft that they have owned for 43 years.
Perry wasn’t put under any restrictions and, one month after the surgery, harvested a sunflower field with the help of Dianne.
He recently celebrated his 70th birthday and continues to share his experiences with anyone who will listen, hoping to make others aware of the precautions that can be taken to prevent a heart attack.
Perry said that he never experienced any warning signs, such as pain or tightness in his chest. “I didn’t think I felt bad before the surgery,” he said.
The quick-thinking and actions of health professionals kept Perry from having a heart attack,
“Go get checked,” is Perry’s advice.
Posted on 02-15-2018
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