Heart Patient Stories

Mr. Joe Gittings

I could not have gone anywhere else in the US for better treatment.” Said Mr. Joe Gittings, a heart attack survivor and watch guru of Ford, Gittings & Kane Jewelers.

It started when Mr. Gittings came into Redmond’s Emergency Department with discomfort and arm pain around midnight of the first day of 2010. Having undergone quadruple bypass surgery 20+ years ago, he knew something was not right and needed care. He was immediately seen and treated for his discomfort but testing showed no signs of needing additional treatment. However, due to his condition and previous history of cardiac disease, the Dr. Alan Moy, Emergency Medicine Physician at Redmond, ordered Mr. Gittings to stay overnight. He protested saying he felt better and might as well go home. However, Dr. Moy insisted and Mr. Gittings was told ready himself to be taken to a room.

However, before Mr. Gittings made it upstairs, he went into cardiac arrest. “Within a matter of minutes I had about a dozen nurses on me and was whisked down the hall,” Mr. Gittings recalled.

Dr. Merritt* came in and ordered, ‘Prep him now.’ And right then I had bypass surgery and two stents put it.” Mr. Gittings continued, “If I had left and gone home, I wouldn’t be here today.

Three days later Mr. Gittings was able to return home and today, is doing just fine. Though he avoids the heat and the more rigorous activities of his younger days such as square dancing and gardening, life is busy. He can be found working out at the Vitality Center three days a week, and working at his jewelry store on Broad Street repairing watches.

My daughter runs the shop now along with another lady but they let me work from time to time.” Mr. Gittings joked.

He is also the caring husband of Joan, the father of five, and grandfather of nine. Needless to say, Mr. Gittings has a lot to live for and is making the most of each day with his newly repaired heart.

*Dr. Christopher Merrit, M.D. is a Harbin Clinic Cardiologist that practices at Redmond.

Mr. Lamar Turner

On Sunday, November 14, 2010, Lamar Turner, an 8th grade math teacher and retired basketball coach, was celebrating his 57th birthday at home with his wife, children and two grandchildren. While waiting for lunch to be prepared, Turner decided to lie on the bed and catch the NASCAR race. When he opened his eyes, it was Tuesday and he was at Redmond Regional Medical Center.

Turner’s daughter, Jenny, went to tell her father lunch was ready and found him in cardiac arrest. She performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation until first responders arrived and transported Turner to Redmond Regional Medical Center. Once Turner arrived, Hector M. Picon, MD, Harbin Clinic Cardiologist at Redmond Regional, used therapeutic hypothermia, which saved Turner from suffering any brain damage. Dr. Picon also inserted four stents into Turner’s heart.

Turner went on to complete a cardiac rehab program where he used a specialized exercise program and learned how to make his diet heart healthy.

I already worked out for 30 to 45 minutes every day prior to my cardiac arrest,” Turner says. “However, my diet consisted of a lot of fast food. The staff at Redmond Regional took the time to help me change my eating habits, and I now read nutrition labels and keep my sodium intake under control.

Turner is recovering well, and Dr. Picon believes that he will be back to running 5Ks and marathons in no time.