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"I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years and I always knew what to look for when it came to heart disease. I have always been very active. I love tennis and play almost daily. The only symptom I had was shortness of breath."

I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years and I always knew what to look for when it came to heart disease. I have always been very active. I love tennis and play almost daily. I also have been a part of Friends of Sangamon County Animal Control since its inception and walked hundreds of dogs hundreds of miles.

I never had any chest pain. The only symptom I had was shortness of breath. With the shortness of breath, I would simply stop what I was doing and I would feel better so I could keep going. It was on a trip to Austin, Texas when I realized that something might be wrong. After climbing some stairs, I couldn’t get my breath back and actually collapsed. I knew right then that I needed to do something.

My primary care doctor referred me to Prairie. I was referred to Dr. Vince Zuck who treated me wonderfully. After some tests, he told me I needed open heart surgery and referred me to his partner, Dr. Jeff Christy.

I had an aortic valve replacement and a 3-vessel coronary artery bypass graft (CABG). All of the care I received from my Prairie doctors and nurses was exceptional. The cardiac rehab team at the Prairie Heart Institute was also did a great job.

I was eager to get back to playing tennis but even more excited to get back to walking the dogs out at Sangamon County Animal Control. Walking those dogs was part of my therapy and even Dr. Christy attributed my quick recovery to the dog walking (and tennis)!

I am so grateful to Prairie. They were there when I needed them which enabled me to quickly get back to those that need me!