Ruthetta Gretchel

Heart Attack Survivor: 'I Feel Better than Ever'

Ruthetta Getchel, 67, and her husband, Jack, were a day away from embarking on a trip to Minnesota when she awoke in the middle of the night experiencing severe back pain and profuse sweating. Jack quickly drove her to the emergency department at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. After an initial evaluation, Ruthetta quickly learned she was experiencing a heart attack.

All of this happened so fast and was so unexpected...But with the cardiology team at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Services, I feel better than ever.

Ruthetta Getchel and her husband, Jack, were a day away from embarking on a trip to Minnesota in July 2014 when Ruthetta awoke in the middle of the night experiencing severe back pain and profuse sweating. Jack quickly drove Ruthetta to the emergency department at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

After an initial evaluation, Ruthetta, 67, quickly learned she was experiencing a heart attack. She was stabilized and immediately taken by ambulance to Memorial Medical Center and had four stents placed. She subsequently had four additional stents placed in November.

"Without the emergency team at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, I’m certain I wouldn’t be here today," she said.

Always in good health, Ruthetta had no history of heart disease. She since has learned that when experiencing heart trouble, rapid treatment is key to survival.

Following her two life-saving stent procedures, Ruthetta was able to take advantage of the cardiac rehabilitation programs offered through Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital. She attended the Phase II cardiac rehabilitation exercise program three times a week. Her heart rate, blood pressure and weight were all monitored.

In addition to the cardiac rehab, Ruthetta took part in the ALMH Heart Failure Clinic. She met with her healthcare team once a month to review her progress. Her team included a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist to review her medications and a dietary consultant to make sure she followed the proper diet.

"All of this happened so fast and was so unexpected,” she said. "I was completely unprepared for this entire lifestyle change. But with the cardiology team at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Services, I feel better than ever.”

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