Timothy Hanratty will be the first to tell you mowing your lawn on a June afternoon is a bad idea. After taking a break four times, Timothy knew his current state of exhaustion was not right. High blood pressure was already a concern of his, but now Timothy noticed a “flutter in his throat.” This unusual symptom prompted a visit to his primary doctor who immediately performed an EKG. Results confirmed Timothy had atrial fibrillation (AFib).
With his heart rate bouncing out of control, Timothy went to CHI St. Luke’s Health–The Woodlands Hospital, where the emergency team members put him back in rhythm. His overnight stay ended with a recommendation by Dr. Margit Nemeth to run a few more tests. X-rays came back revealing a “shadow where there shouldn’t be a shadow,” says Timothy on Dr. Nemeth’s description of the results. Plans to insert a stent were put into place, however, the day of the procedure, Dr. Bernardo de la Guardia found an aneurysm. Timothy would need surgery.
Thoracic and cardiac surgeon Dr. Mark Mettauer would perform the surgery. Dr. Mettauer’s patience and words of encouragement immediately put the worrisome Timothy at ease. “After talking, I would have gone into surgery right then. That’s how confident I was in him,” says Timothy after their initial consultation. The surgery was a success, the shadow was gone, and Timothy began his rehab process at the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center at The Woodlands Hospital.
It was the team’s positivity combined with Timothy’s determination that he completed his 36 sessions. “The Cardiac Rehabilitation Center is a first-class operation,” says Timothy. “To them, it’s not a job—they really care about what they’re doing.”
Knowing friends who needed medication to keep their AFib symptoms under control, Timothy knew he didn’t want to live that way. Luckily for him, the results from his surgery by the Woodlands Hospital cardiovascular team left him with a strong heart that would need no medicine. And while the Houston heat has done nothing to make mowing more enjoyable, Tim’s restored heart has him getting the job done quickly and efficiently, no breaks needed.