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How Lynda Degeyter’s Giving Heart Was Made Good as New

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Lynda Degeyter, is known in Montgomery County to have a heart of gold. Once a week, she can be seen at the Conroe Salvation Army shelter, serving homeless families as though they are dining at a nice restaurant. Her husband Marvin says that Lynda goes the extra mile, making centerpieces and place settings for each table. But a recent heart problem threatened to prevent her from doing what she loves best—serving others.

Lynda had been feeling a lot of discomfort in her chest, but her doctors were unable to find a cause. In an attempt to pinpoint the problem, her primary care physician decided to treat her for acid reflux to rule it out. After that didn’t improve her condition, she was referred to a cardiologist, who suspected a more serious issue. He sent her to St. Luke’s Health–The Woodlands Hospital for a cardiac catheterization.

During the procedure, our cardiovascular team found a serious blockage of the main coronary artery, also known as a “widow maker,” and rushed her to bypass surgery. Thanks to our team’s rapid response, the blockage was removed, but Lynda’s plight was not over. A bacterial infection in her chest cavity—common in bypass surgery cases—led to the need for an additional bypass. A large amount of pleural fluid had to be removed from her chest, but the infection quickly spread to the sterna wound, which resulted from the first bypass. Because of this, part of her sternum, chest and arm muscle had to be removed. 

Despite these obstacles, Lynda says if it were not for our team’s quick action, advanced technology and compassion, she likely would have died. Not only did we fix her heart of gold, but Lynda says that everyone within The Woodlands Hospital took exceptional care of her, ensuring that she was able to take communion with her husband every day.

Currently in cardiac rehabilitation, Lynda is doing much better, has lost 30 pounds and is progressing well with exercise. 

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