Heart Care Patient Story: Michael Casey
Heart Attack Prevented by Cardiac Catheterization
When the occasional chest pains started, Michael Casey assumed it was just
After all, the 43-year-old airline customer service agent lifts heavy luggage
every day and enjoys playing sports with his children and nephews, so
he's no stranger to sore muscles.
But one day the chest pain wouldn't go away, and Casey went to the
emergency room at Southern Regional Medical Center. Doctors recognized
that Casey's cardiac enzymes were elevated, suggesting the potential
for a heart attack. So they quickly ushered him into Southern Regional's
Heart & Vascular Care Center.
Dr. Chituru Adele, an interventional cardiologist, performed a cardiac
catheterization (also known as a cardiac cath) to determine how well his
heart was working and whether his arteries were blocked. Southern Regional
is the only hospital in south metro Atlanta that can perform this life-saving
During the procedure, Dr. Adele discovered that his right coronary artery
was 90 percent blocked. If the blockage had increased to 100 percent,
Casey likely would have had a major heart attack that could have caused
permanent damage to his heart muscle. This is why it's so important
to quickly identify and treat blockages through cardiac catheterization.
Once Dr. Adele discovered the blockage, he immediately performed an emergency
angioplasty to open the blocked artery. He inserted a balloon and a wire
mesh tube called a stent, both of which hold the artery open to relieve
Life-saving Procedure in Minutes
It all happened so fast that Casey could barely believe it.
"After they found the blockage, it was maybe 15 minutes and it was
all done," Casey says. "I was a little nervous about the whole
thing, but the nurses told me there was nothing to be afraid of-these
are procedures they do just about every day."
In fact, Southern Regional's Heart & Vascular Care Center performs
more than 1,600 cardiac catheterizations and 250 angioplasties every year,
in addition to a full spectrum of other procedures.
A center of excellence in the community since 1971 and an accredited chest
pain center, the Heart & Vascular Care Center performs more heart
and vascular care services than any other hospital in south metro Atlanta.
Casey's procedure was a complete success. He remained in the hospital
for only two days following the angioplasty, and then returned for follow-up
visits. Today, he is back to all of his normal activities with a clean
bill of heart health. And he feels better than ever.
"I can breathe better and feel a whole lot better than I did before,"
he says. "I was even having trouble throwing the football with my
son before the surgery, but now I'm able to throw a lot farther than
Casey, who lives in Clayton County, has lots of motivation to stay healthy.
"I love my family so much," says Casey.
The most important thing for him was being able to come to his family,
which includes his wife, Gloria, a son and a daughter, as well as two
nephews he's helping to raise.
"Everybody at the hospital kept me and my wife informed of what was
going on every step of the way," Casey says. "They took really
good care of me and I'm so grateful."