She was having chest pain and called her husband to take her to the hospital. When he got home, he found her doubled over in pain.
“It happened from time to time. I chalked it up to anxiety. It would come and then it would go away, so I never took it too seriously,” she said. “This was different.”
Every second matters for proper heart attack care. If you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath or trouble breathing, call 911 right away.
Luckily, the couple lives two blocks from Carle Richland Memorial Hospital, where a trained team was there to help quickly.
“I told them I was having chest pain and a nurse immediately got me in a room and started treatment. It was just amazing to see how well everyone worked together,” she said.
Her pain intensified, her care team ordered lab work and hooked up oxygen but she remembers having no fear.
“I just remember being very calm. It was a terrifying situation but I wasn’t terrified. I had complete confidence in everyone who was caring for me.”
Her emergency department physician Alyssa Lewandowski, MD, prescribed a blood clot busting medication to help ease Lydle’s pain and symptoms but knew she needed advanced care from a hospital specializing in heart attack care.
“I had great confidence in Dr. Lewandowski. I know how hard she was working to make arrangements to
get me the care I needed as quickly as possible. I felt that this was probably my best chance of making it there,” she said.
Faron Britton, RN, stayed with her.
“At one point I asked him if I was going to make it, and he looked at me and said, ‘Yes you are. And I don’t lie.’“
Time was of the essence but inclement weather made AirLife transportation too dangerous so the team pivoted to a ground ambulance.
Carle EMT Ryan Holdrieth kept Lydle calm and comfortable and even discovered they shared a connection.
“When I mentioned I knew his wife and her family, he pulled out photos of his little boy and chatted with me to keep my mind occupied. Before I knew it, I was on my way. The pain in my chest subsided about 15 minutes before I arrived at my destination thanks to the medication Dr. Lewandowski gave me.”
Since her Emergency Department visit, she learned the right side of her heart showed a 70% two-inch long blockage. She’s had a stent placed and remains on medication but with proper eating and some exercise, her heart will be stronger than ever.
Thanks to her fast acting and skilled team, Lydle got the care she needed. She wants her experience to alert others to not ignore the signs of heart trouble.
“Looking back now I realize that in the days and weeks leading up to my heart attack, I had several of the tell-tale signs. I had experienced back pain, burning in my esophagus, aching in my shoulders and upper back as well as an upset stomach,” she said. “I encourage everyone to be alert and not dismiss symptoms. It could save your life.”
Categories: Culture of Quality