Rising to the Occlusions: How James McGarvey Took on a Quadruple Bypass


James McGarvey is the owner of an IT company, a husband and the father of two young daughters. For a few years, he had noticed periods of shortness of breath, but doctors said it was just anxiety. But James, an easygoing man who wasn’t even 40 years old, thought it had to be something else. A couple of years later, at just 41, James was at work when his symptoms became worse. He felt a dull ache in his chest and his fingers were tingling. He calmly told his receptionist to call 9-1-1.

His wife, who had just returned to work from maternity leave, urged him to go to St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center to undergo extensive testing. At first, results were inconclusive, but doctors knew something was wrong and did not give up until they found the answer. James, an otherwise healthy and fit individual, was surprised to learn that his heart had significant blockage, with 100% occlusion in one blood vessel and more than 60% occlusion in another three.

Dr. Joseph Coselli performed a successful quadruple bypass, and just six weeks later, James was again enjoying life with his wife and two young daughters. With all of his heart-related vitals, such as blood pressure and cholesterol, normal prior to the attack, the cause of James’ heart attack has not yet been found. But he says that had he not gone to Baylor St. Luke’s, he likely would not be alive today. 

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