Thursday, March 3, 2016

Emergency Heart Surgery

Last night my husband complained of jaw pain.  He thought he had a dental problem. His first thought was that the new toothpaste he was using had caused his gums to hurt.  I looked and saw no issue.  He couldn't pinpoint the pain, other to say it was in his jaw.  So he was sitting in the living room while I was calling dentists to see if we could find one open. At the same time I was goggling "pain in jaw".  I knew it was a symptom of a heart attack but since that was the only symptom he had I was unsure.  We talked about him going to the ER to check things out and get a pain killer until we could get to our dentist today.  I was frightened but thought I was over reacting since less than 2 weeks ago he got a clean bill of health from his yearly cardiology appointment.  In fact he got a glowing bill of health.  He sees a cardiologist just because heart disease is so rampant in his family.

However once he got to the ER and they did blood work, it showed his enzymes were elevated.  Everything else was fine-EKG both of them were great.  So they kept him and said that they'd do a heart cath this morning.  I ended up going home at 3 am.  I called Jon about 7;30 am and he told me he was having some jaw pain.  He was given nitroglycin for pain several times and it would stop for awhile and then come back. 

They got him in for the heart cath before I could get there.  When I got there, they told me he was almost finished.  When the nurse came out, I could tell something was wrong, she took me back to the doctor and he showed me the results.  Jon has severe blockage in four major arteries.    The doctor was as shocked as we were!  He told me several times he did not expect this at all.  They were not able to do stents.

Tomorrow morning he will have a quadruple  bypass surgery.   We are in shock!

I kept asking the doctor & staff  questions about how this could happen to a man that is very close to being a Vegan and who exercises for hours a day!  Their answer was Genetics - there was just no escaping it. 

Thankfully he did not have a heart attack and there has been no damage to the heart muscle at all!  That's HUGE & makes a difference in the outcome of surgery.  The doctor told me that had we not come in, Jon was on the verge of a massive fatal heart attack.  It was probably just a matter of 24-48 hours.  He doubted that Jon could have survived the heart attack as there is so much blockage. 

Again we are just in shock!  Jon has always been so very careful about his diet and exercise.  He uses self control and is very moderate in everything.  I've always said if I was not married to him I'd be really heavy because I love everything that is bad to eat!  But I've always tried to cook healthy for him and our family and that has also helped me to change my bad diet habits.

So please keep my husband in your prayers tomorrow morning and for his recovery the next six weeks.  We are still wrapping our heads around this but the God that has brought us through so very much will bring us through this.  God is faithful. 


  1. Yvonne, I will definitely be praying for Jon and you and your family! That's so scary, but what a great God we serve that he's where he needs to be, even when it didn't make sense. Lots of love xx

  2. I'll keep Jon in my prayers tomorrow. And you, too!

  3. Hi, I will be praying for you. I wanted to give you some encouragement. My father had a quadruple bypass 30 years ago. We went out last night and celebrated his 87th birthday. I am a firm believer of bypass over stents. - Denise

  4. Oh my goodness! How scary!!!! I will be praying for sure. <3 Please update us when you can. Love and hugs!

  5. I'm texting more friends now. Just shared on the blog. I've read the update. PRAYING!!!!!

  6. Sending prayers and so glad you stuck to your guns on getting him to the ER. The jaw pain is one sign so many people miss that it is associated with possible heart issues. This is the exact same thing that happened to my Dad years ago and he had a the same surgery as John. He did amazing through it and is stronger then ever since that day. John will be as well, someone was watching over your beautiful family that day. :)