David Walker has always led an active and healthy life. Focused on wellness and physical activity as a bicyclist for many years, he would ride from Massachusetts to Maine with his team, logging more than 180 miles in a single day. A few years ago, he began to notice a change in his breathing ability, which he described as a type of ‘early asthma’ that usually occurred in the morning, with slight chest pain. This past year, his respiratory difficulty increased and in hindsight, David realizes that he was experiencing controlled angina the day he finally called his Primary Care Provider at Southern Maine Health Care.
David called his primary care provider Dr. Charles Digby and was interviewed on the phone by Dr. Digby’s Medical Assistant, Maria Flanders. Even though David was somewhat reluctant to admit he needed to go to the ER, Maria pressed him, and even followed up with David’s wife Debbie by phone to make sure they were on their way.
Once in the ER at SMHC, a stress test revealed that David had an over 90 percent blockage in three out of four areas of his heart, and cardiac bypass surgery was scheduled for the next day at Maine Medical Center with Maine Medical Partners’ Dr. Walter DeNino.
Just five weeks later, David is feeling great and has begun working with therapists at Maine Medical Center’s Turning Point Cardiac Rehabilitation & Prevention Center. His baselines are all good and he is resuming the activities he loves, which include playing golf and working out in his home gym. And at his first follow-up appointment post-surgery, he made sure to thank Maria with a special box of chocolates and a big hug for her great care.