A chance opportunity helped save the life of Hamilton County’s Greg O’Connor. The Noblesville resident also serves as the Riverview Hospital Foundation Board Chairman, which is why he decided to have a heart scan done with the hospital’s new 128-slice CT scanner even though he felt fine.
“Since I was on the foundation board, I thought I should know about this if we are trying to promote it,” he said. “They place three electrodes on your chest, run you in and out of the magnet three times and your images appear on the screen. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes.”
While he was in the waiting area for his results, O’Connor learned his calcium level numbers were “not quite where they should be.”
“For a lot of people it’s 0 to 50 or 100, mine were north of 500. It was like warning signs and lights were going off,” he said.
After having two stress tests done and another scan of his heart with radioactive dye, it was determined that O’Connor did not have any blockages in his arteries, but his high score meant there was potential for damage. O’Connor said that following his tests and results, he made a conscious decision to eat healthier, work out, lift weights and strengthen his core muscles. In the year following his commitment, O’Connor lost 50 pounds, decreased his blood pressure from 140 over 90 to 110 over 80, and his blood sugar levels are normal.
“I dealt with the situation before it became a real serious event,” he said. “I’m a walking testament that once you get on that path you can’t stray too far off. It was a wake-up call for my life.”
Riverview Foundation Executive Director Trish Oman said the 128-slice CT scanner had been lifesaving.
“We’ve had people come in and there have been things that they were able to detect not otherwise detectable because they had the scan done,” she said.
Oman said there had been occasions when patients go straight from the 128-slice CT scanner to open heart surgery.
“One guy had a scan because he just got on Medicare and was advised to get a test.
After the test the man got in his car and headed home. Doctors called him and told him to turn around and get back here. He had an aneurism,” she said. “It’s a wake-up call for a lot of people.”
Oman said the foundation purchased the CT scanner in October 2010 and the digital imaging catheterization lab in May 2008. The new technology combines the two to better serve doctors and patients.
“There isn’t another hospital that has that combination in Indiana,” Oman said.
What: Riverview Foundation Red Ball
When: Feb. 9
Time: 5:45 p.m. welcome reception with dinner at 7 p.m.
Where: Lucas Estate, 1142 W. 106th St., Carmel
Cost: $150 per couple, $2,000 for a corporate table
Why: The ball, with presenting sponsor BMO Harris Bank, is a special celebration of the Riverview Hospital cardiovascular program. It will include “Heartfelt” remarks by five Riverview patients, dancing, tours of the Lucas Estate and fundraising for the Riverview Hospital Foundation, which has secured more than $4 million in donations for cardiology since its inception.
For more information, contact Trish Oman at 776-7317 or firstname.lastname@example.org.