Avera Medical Minute: Around the Clock Cardiac Care at Avera Aberdeen

Don Woehl of Aberdeen can tell you how life can change in an instant. He showed up for work, on what would have been a normal day until everything changed.

Cardiac care Avera Aberdeen SD

"I walked back to my toolbox and it just started out of the blue. Sweating profusely, got extremely dizzy, had to sit down and was kind of getting concerned, so I started looking around for someone to help me," said Woehl.

After a co-worker brought him to a hospital ER, he was transferred to another hospital. Don was having a heart attack brought on by the blood flow to his heart being abruptly shut off.

"Doctor Gundewar and his team got me into the surgery, and I'm here to tell about it today," said Woehl.

Avera Cardiologist Susheel Gundewar knows that every second count to save a life and keep a heart from permanent damage.

"We knew there was a blood clot there, that we had to suck out, and the moment we sucked out the blood clot and restored the blood flow his chest pain was gone, and we knew we had saved his muscle at that point," said Dr. Gundewar.

At Avera Medical Group Cardiovascular Specialists in Aberdeen, the goal is to have a blocked vessel opened within 60 minutes of the patient entering the hospital for help.

"He went in with his little vacuum machine, whatever he used, and got rid of that blood clot, and saved my life," said Woehl.

Responding quickly to a heart attack takes a commitment. Ensuring Doctors and staff are ready for a heart issue, 24/7.

"Avera is the only hospital in Aberdeen that has a qualified cardiologist with all the support staff needed to provide the emergency heart care to do the emergency heart procedures that could be life-saving," said Dr. Gundewar.

Don's follow up plan includes Cardiac rehab. Thirty-six sessions of monitored exercise at Avera St. Lukes in Aberdeen is done under the watchful eye of health professionals to ensure he's safe.

"Monitor my oxygen, my heart rate, that type of stuff; blood pressure, and as I'm working out on the machine, they push me a little bit harder all the time to make sure the heart is good to go," said Woehl.

As his heart grows stronger, it opens up more plans for the future.

"I'm a big fisherman and don't want to be on a lake somewhere in the middle of nowhere, wondering if my heart's going to be good or not," said Woehl.

Don is grateful for heart care anytime, any day and the follow up to regain his strength.

"It changed my perspective on the hospitalization as a whole, I know where I'm going next time, well hopefully there's not a next time," said Woehl.