How Double Bypass Surgery Answered a Minister’s Prayer

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Baylor St. Luke's Offers Vick Smith a New Lease on Life

In late July of 2018 after working in his son’s yard in Beaumont, Texas, Vick Smith experienced chest pains and a tingling sensation in his arm. After a local hospital diagnosed him with heat stroke and asked to admit him overnight, Vick and his wife, Laurie, decided to pack their bags and head to Baylor St.Luke’s Medical Center (Baylor St. Luke’s) in Houston.

Dr. Neil Strickman, a cardiologist at Baylor St. Luke’s, performed an aortic aneurysm repair on Vick a year and a half ago, and the Smiths have a long history with the cardiovascular team at the hospital. “All of our family members have been treated here. Eight, in fact,” explained Vick’s wife, Laurie. “We believe in [Baylor] St. Luke’s and what the doctors do and what can do.”

Upon arriving to Baylor St. Luke’s physicians treated Vick’s kidneys which were affected by the heat stroke, and he then underwent an arteriogram to take an X-ray of his arteries. After the procedure Dr. Strickman explained Vick was experiencing a 70 percent blockage to his heart.

On August 2 Dr. Strickman and Dr. James Livesay performed a minimally invasive, double bypass surgery on Vick. Using a vein from his leg and a mammary vein, the team at Baylor St. Luke’s was able to repair the blockage in his heart.

The Smiths are thankful for the compassionate, high-quality care they received from the hospital staff including, nurses, patient care assistants, volunteers, and the physicians. Laurie, a pastor, said the Smiths also relied on their faith throughout their time at Baylor St. Luke’s. “When Dr. Livesay came out of surgery he was glowing,” Laurie said. “So, grateful is our word. We’re grateful.”

For now, Vick is up and walking around the hospital working on getting back to the new normal. He looks forward to getting back home to Beaumont to enjoy his recent retirement.

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