“The nurses and staff were amazing. They never stopped, most were working twelve hour shifts. I could not have received better care anywhere else."
In September 2015, Doug Henderson came in to South Georgia Medical Center
for a pre-operative work-up. The work-up identified an irregular heartbeat, so an electrocardiogram (EKG) and stress test were ordered. Though the EKG and stress test came back normal, SGMC affiliated Interventional Cardiologist William “Doug” Luke, MD wanted to check one suspicious area and scheduled a heart cath for Henderson.
On Thursday, December 3, 2015, Henderson had the heart cath and received some sobering news. Dr. Luke explained that Henderson needed open heart surgery—he had serious blockages. Dr. Luke drew pictures of the blockages to show what was going to happen surgically.
“It was a total shock to both myself and my wife because I did not have the symptoms you normally have when you have blockages in the main vessels surrounding your heart,” said Henderson. Recently, Henderson had traveled extensively to watch his sons, Ashley and Justin, coach the Valwood Valiant Football team in championship finals. “Those last three games were won by less than 3 points. I am really surprised I did not fall out and have a heart attack at a game because I tend to get hyped-up,” said Henderson.
On Monday, December 7, 2015, SGMC CardioVascular Institute Cardiothoracic Surgeon Joe Johnson, MD performed open heart surgery on Henderson. “Dr. Johnson was very reassuring and I knew exactly what was going to happen. He’s an excellent physician,” said Henderson.
Surgery went well and Henderson was discharged from South Georgia Medical Center just five days later on Friday, December 11, 2015.
“The nurses and staff were amazing. They never stopped, most were working twelve hour shifts. The care I received was amazing, I could not have received better care anywhere else. Everyone was so professional,” said Henderson.
Now well on the road to recovery, Henderson is back to being nanny to grandson Charlie and enjoying all of his grandchildren. “The experience I had at SGMC was very positive, I would recommend the Dasher Heart Center to everyone!”
“My overall experience was just great – from the emergency room staff to the heart team, nurse practitioner Pam Powell and the affiliated cardiologists.”
Hicks has had heart issues since 1987.
In October of that year, she had surgery to fix Atrial Septal Defect (ASD), a hole in the wall that separates the top of two chambers of the heart. In the early 2000s she had two heart catheterizations. These procedures revealed blockages in the arteries.
On January 8, 2015 Hicks was shopping and began to feel dizzy, sick to her stomach, pain in her jaw, and pain on the left side. With these symptoms, she knew it was her heart.
Hicks arrived at South Georgia Medical Center’s Emergency Room and was immediately taken to see a physician. Affiliated Cardiologist Dr. Joel Cohen was on call. “I remember Dr. Cohen coming into my room and saying, ‘You’re having a triple bypass,’” said Hicks.
Just eight days later, on Friday, January 16, 2015, SGMC CardioVascular Institute cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Joe Johnson performed open-heart surgery. “Dr. Johnson is a very caring, Christian man who is really engaging with his patients,” said Hicks. “I knew what was going to happen during my surgery and that put me at ease.”
Hicks spent a total of 14 days at SGMC Dasher Memorial Heart Center. She credits the entire team of healthcare professionals with allowing her to carry on and live her life.
After being released from SGMC, Lvonne was back home and healing. She attended SGMC’s Cardiac Rehabilitation program, which is designed to promote and improve the fitness, health, energy levels and sense of well being in people with various forms of cardiovascular disease. “Those ladies in Cardiac Rehab are fantastic. They keep you moving and it is such a great program to have here in Valdosta,” says Hicks.
“My overall experience was just great. From the emergency room staff to the heart team, nurse practitioner Pam Powell and the affiliated cardiologists, I could not have received better care anywhere else,” said Hicks.
"I'm very pleased with my care at South Georgia Medical Center and especially want to thank Dr. Solis for saving my life."
"I just want to thank Dr. Brown and his entire staff, Dr. Powell and his staff, all the staff at the hospital, because I don't know what I would have done...had I not had a caring group of people."
"It's just a blessing to have this type of institution here to solve this problem. Before, I would have to get in an ambulance and go somewhere else to get the service I received right here in Valdosta, Lowndes County at South Georgia Medical Center."