A painless, inexpensive calcium artery scoring screening at the Silver Cross Health Center in Homer Glen proved to be a lifesaver for 62-year-old Frank Russo, a local business owner and devoted family man.
Russo’s story began at a routine medical checkup in the spring of 2018. That’s when his doctor, Daniel Co, M.D., suggested the Homer Glen resident consider having a heart scan or stress test.
Though he had quit smoking more than 25 years earlier and made a habit of exercising daily, he had other risk factors.
“I wasn’t having any symptoms, but I do have diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease,” Russo explained, putting him at higher risk.
“The technician who performed the heart screening was very concerned about my results and contacted my personal physician immediately after my test,” he said.
Russo was next referred to Abdul Sankari, M.D., cardiologist with Heartland Cardiovascular Center, who immediately scheduled Russo for an angiogram, a test that detects blockages in the arteries. To Russo’s shock, the results showed a 95 percent blockage in his left anterior descending artery.
Russo’s condition required a minimally invasive surgical intervention to open his left anterior descending (LAD) artery, an important blood vessel that supplies a significant amount of blood flow to the heart muscle. When blood flow in the LAD is compromised, there can be devastating consequences.
In fact, the artery is often referred to as the “widow-maker” since blockage can result in permanent heart muscle damage or death if not tended to right away. A second procedure involved the placement of a stent to open the other affected coronary artery.
“Before my heart blockage was found, I exercised for over an hour every day, and it’s a habit I continue to this day using the treadmill and elliptical machine. Since my heart procedure, I am trying to lose some weight by eating better and eliminating fatty and fried foods,” Russo added. “I am so thankful to Silver Cross Hospital for offering this heart screening. It prevented me from experiencing irreversible heart muscle damage by catching my heart blockage early. I have young grandchildren, and it means everything to me that I will be able to keep up with them!”
Russo’s daughter, Jaclyn Doyle, a 23-year Silver Cross Hospital employee, is equally thankful! “He’s a wonderful father and grandfather,” she added. “He loves to spend time with his grandkids. He goes to their sport events and has taken each of them to their home in Florida. We’re a close-knit family, so we were really worried about him. We’re so happy he’s doing well.”
About Calcium Artery Scoring at Silver Cross
Silver Cross Hospital offers a quick and painless test using a high speed CT scanner that can measure calcium deposits in the coronary arteries to determine your risk of having a heart attack. Calcium artery scoring is ideal for men over age 45 and women over age 55 who smoke, have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a family history of premature coronary artery disease. This scan is available for $49. For an appointment, call (815) 300-7076. For more information about heart care at Silver Cross, including our open heart surgery program that will be opening in late spring of this year, visit www.silvercross.org