Heart surgery close to home – and work // I am thankful


Keith SayneKeith and Marla Sayne got good news and bad news after undergoing heart CT scans at Reid Hospital in March 2011. The good news: Marla’s score was a “zero,” indicating a low risk of having or developing heart disease. The bad news? Keith’s score: 1,389.

“My sister is a nurse at Reid, and she went ballistic when she heard my test results,” says Keith, 58, who has worked at Reid as a locksmith and hardware specialist since 1998. “She told me I had to see a cardiologist right away, and my family doctor agreed. He said that any score over 600 puts you in the high-risk category.”

Keith made an appointment with Dr. Jithendra P. Choudary, an interventional cardiologist at Reid, who performed a cardiac catheterization. The test revealed several blockages in Keith’s arteries, including six in the left anterior descending artery – otherwise known as “the widow maker”. Dr. E. Paul Howanitz, Reid’s chief cardiothoracic surgeon, recommended bypass surgery. Five days later, he performed the procedure, which involved a total of four bypasses on four different arteries.

Keith was impressed with the care he received at Reid. “People don’t realize how good the Reid Heart & Vascular Center has become over the years,” says Keith. “I would put it up against any heart program. There’s expertise for sure, but there’s also caring. And I didn’t receive great care just because I’m an employee—it’s the kind of care they give everyone.”

Keith participated in outpatient cardiac rehab for 12 weeks at Reid and returned to work. Today, he exercises regularly and says he feels more energetic and healthy than he did prior to the surgery. “People asked me, ‘why didn’t you go to Indianapolis for your surgery?’” Keith says. “I tell them, I trust the people at Reid. The care they gave me was second to none.”

Donations to Reid Foundation’s Heart Fund help ensure the Reid cardiology team has state-of-the-art equipment to provide the highest quality of care to our patients.  Recently, this fund was also used to provide nearly 300 Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to schools and non-profits in our 7 county service area. 

Please consider donating to the Heart Fund today…it just may save a life!