Sometimes what you see on T.V. can change your life. We met a family from Northwest Iowa who's counting their lucky stars they saw one of our medical minutes and acted on it.
On July 22nd our Avera Medical Minute focused on abdominal aortic aneurysms. The aorta is the body's main artery. An aneurysm is a weak area in that artery that balloon up and like a balloon can burst and if that happens people usually bleed to death after 4:00 of it bursting. Dr. Bacharach at North Central Heart was repairing one in a man in his 70's. Marsha Kelderman in Doon, Iowa watched intently that night knowing her Dad, Jim Koedam, had one and was told he couldn't have it repaired.
Marsha Kelderman (one of Jim's three children) says, "When my husband and I were watching we heard the doctor say this procedure is better for patients with kidney problems, which my dad has, and we looked at each other and said maybe this is the solution."
I was. Two weeks after Marsha saw our story, her dad 81 year old Jim Koedam (also from Doon, IA) was the one on the table in the cath lab while Dr. Michael Bacharach and his team at the Avera Heart Hospital repaired his abdominal aortic aneurysm that extended down into his iliac arteries.
Dr. Bacharach says, "We made an incision in his groin went up with a tube, sealing the aneurysm at the top and bottom so the blood flow goes through the tube instead of the aneurysm. It takes the pressure off and excluded the aneurysm."
A month after his procedure we caught up with Jim, his wife of 62 years Wilma, and daughter Marsha. They made the trip from Doon to Sioux Falls for his follow-up check-up and cat scan.
Marsha says, "It gave us a new lease. He's feeling better, his appetite came back, and he doesn't have pain in his stomach when he eats. It's just been great. He's already mowed his lawn a couple of times."
Jim says, "It all turned out good. The whole procedure wasn't painful at all, even right after it. The Heart Hospital is a great place and so was the staff."
Marsha smiles and says, "We got our dad back."
Plus, he'll be around a little longer for his 12 grand kids, 21 great grand kids and the 2 great grand kids on the way.