Hospital District Board Member Can Personally Vouch for Heart Care

Not too long ago, Mike Gordon got an unplanned look at the efficiency and high quality of care being displayed daily inside the Prefontaine Cardiovascular Center. It was a personal miracle and one that began in Italy. 

“We were going to cruise from Rome to Miami. On my last day in Rome, I start getting some chest pains—modest chest pains. I think nothing of it. I think, It can’t be my heart; you know, with the heart you get the big chest pains like an elephant sitting on your chest. I didn’t have an elephant; I had a sparrow, and it lasted only five minutes. So, I’m not worried about it.”

Throughout the cruise however, the sparrow returned, but the pain lasted only a few minutes, so Gordon still thought nothing of it. Upon his return he mentioned it in passing to a friend. Fortunately for Gordon, that friend took things much more seriously and insisted he see his doctor.

Lab results and an EKG (electrocardiogram) seemed to reinforce Gordon’s suspicion that it was nothing, but Kent Sharman, MD, wasn’t completely sold. He sent Gordon for what is called a nuclear stress test.

“Two days later they got me in and took a lot of pictures of my heart; then they got me on the treadmill, and that’s where the world caved in. I was on that treadmill for less than four minutes. I was not working up a sweat. I was hardly working, and all of a sudden my chest started hurting like it had every other day. I said to them while I was on the treadmill, ‘This is really cool. My chest is starting to hurt, and I’m going to prove to you it’s not my heart because it will be gone before I even get off this stupid treadmill.”

But his blood pressure told another, more serious tale. It was over 250, and soon they were taking a closer look at his heart. What they found was an extreme blockage—preventing almost any blood from finding its way into his heart. Moments later Gordon was being prepped for surgery.

 “When I woke up, they said, ‘You’re all fixed,’ but they didn’t know how I made it home on the cruise ship because the artery was over 90 percent blocked. After the procedure I immediately felt great. I still feel great. I changed my diet and go to cardio rehab at the hospital three times a week. To get the quality we now have here, you used to have to go away, and you had to go far away, and quickly. Now we’ve got it here. That is a miracle—an absolute game changer. That changes things for the entire South Coast.”

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