To say Butch led an active lifestyle would be a huge understatement. Regarded as an example of fitness by family and friends, he was an avid kayaker and worked out five days a week. Just three days before his heart attack, he ran ten 100-yard dashes in 12 seconds each.
“It (the heart attack) was quite a surprise,” says the retired firefighter. “I was really of the understanding that if I did everything right — if I worked out, ate right, never smoked, didn’t have high blood pressure and my cholesterol numbers were good — I wouldn’t have this problem.”
Butch’s cardiologist, Dr. Brian Kaminsky, recalls his patient’s anxiety when he arrived in the emergency room at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center.
“He came to me in the early stages of a heart attack,” says Kaminsky. “I could see the anxiety on his face… on his wife’s face. And I told him we were going to take him up to the cath lab, identify the artery that was closed and open it up. And I told him in no short order we’d have him feeling like a million bucks.”
True to his word, Dr. Kaminsky found a 99 percent blockage in Butch’s right coronary artery and quickly inserted a stent to provide instant relief.
“I felt like I could get off the operating table and go run,” says the Hanover resident. “The people at Memorial Regional were amazing… they really were. From the onset of my symptoms to the time they started the catheterization was probably 65 minutes. That’s awesome. Dr. Kaminsky couldn’t have done any better.”
Less than a month later, Butch says he backs to normal, but he’s been careful to follow the doctor’s orders.
“I feel like I can do whatever I did before, but I’ve been a good patient. I haven’t gone lifting weights and haven’t gone kayaking yet. But I think I’ll be there very soon.”
Dr. Kaminsky agrees that Butch’s prognosis looks very good.
“He’s doing great,” says Kaminsky. “Every time he comes in, we argue about whether he can be jogging or going on long trips in his kayak.”
For Butch, good help is being able to live your life to the fullest, because you had a good team of doctors and nurses looking out for you to get you back where you needed to be.