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"They Gave Me a New Lease on Life!"

Ohio-native Kevin Assad knew something was causing his fatigue but chalked it up to old age. “I would huff and puff when I was tying my shoes,” Kevin laughed. “My wife would just look at me, but I ignored it – I figured it was because I was 57.”

During a physical for work, the physician said Kevin needed a stress test because he had stents implanted five years before. “I had been putting it off for quite a while,” Kevin said. The stress test indicated that Kevin needed a heart catheterization, which revealed that a quadruple bypass was the only appropriate option. Kevin’s cardiologist, Dr. Malley, referred him to Mercy cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Fayyaz Hashmi. Upon his first meeting Kevin was immediately impressed.

“The guy just blew me away with his intelligence! I felt confident with Dr. Hashmi right from the get-go. His calmness and the way he spoke to me…I really appreciated that. He seemed very concerned and I could tell that he cared.”

Dr. Hashmi used a small model of the human heart to show Kevin how he would do the procedure. “He explained it would take about 4 or 5 hours and walked me through exactly what he would do during that time,” said Kevin. Dr. Hashmi explained to Kevin that he would have a “no bleed, off-pump” procedure. The off-pump coronary artery bypass procedure is also called “beating heart surgery,” which means that the patient is not put on a heart-lung machine during the surgery. Kevin’s heart would continue to beat normally without mechanical assistance, while Dr. Hashmi operated on a localized, stable area of the heart to bypass the blockage.

Kevin was scheduled for surgery on April 4. The confident, compassionate demeanor of the staff put him at ease. “Everyone was smiling like you can tell they all enjoy coming to work,” said Kevin. “The doctors and nurses were talking to me the whole time I was getting prepped for surgery. Even as they were pushing me down the hall to surgery they were building up the confidence.  As they transferred me to the operating table the staff was joking with me, which made me really, incredibly comfortable. I wasn’t scared – I just knew ‘this is going to be great.’”

A medication issue delayed Kevin’s discharge so he was in the hospital for a total of 7 days. “Everything went well but they wanted to watch my heart for a few extra days because there was a small issue with fluttering on the top part of my heart due to the medication,” Kevin explains. “I couldn’t complain though because I had such great nursing care!”

“St. V’s has a reputation with everyone I know for being the number one heart hospital around– this is the only place I would have come for my bypass surgery,” says Kevin. “I’m very glad Dr. Hashmi was my surgeon and I would highly recommend him to anybody who has to have this type of surgery. Dr. Hashmi would be number one on my list. Absolutely.”

Kevin says “I would highly recommend St. V’s and Dr. Hashmi. They gave me a new lease on life!”

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