How a case of angina ended up raising $20k for healthcare

GOLDEN LAKETwo and a half years ago, Ish Theilheimer was diagnosed with angina.

He was experiencing symptoms like heartburn when he exercised and knew something was amiss. He paid a visit to the Rainbow Valley Health Centre in Killaloe and then to St. Francis Memorial Hospital in Barry’s Bay, and was referred to the Ottawa Heart Institute for further diagnosis.

“I was nervous about going in,” Theilheimer explained. “But I found the staff to be extremely helpful and professional. They did everything they could to make me feel at ease.”

He considers himself a lucky person, in that he had a coronary blockage that required one stent.

“I didn’t require a bypass or anything,” he said.

He was sedated when the doctors put a catheter into one of his veins.

“They have some radioactive substance that makes it show up on a screen,” Theilheimer explained. “You can actually watch the progress of the catheter as it goes up your heart and the doctors are able to tell a number of things from what they are able to see on the screen.”

Theilheimer had an angiogram done one week and then the next week, he was brought in to put a stent into his heart. The stent was inserted up the vein, and once in place, opened up the artery so it was no longer blocked.

“It’s pretty amazing to watch on the screen,” Theilheimer said. “You’re sedated but not knocked out. Frankly, the whole procedure was really quite quick.”

It took around a half hour for the surgery and his recovery period was a couple of hours. He was sent home the same day.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I felt very thankful.”

During his time in the various hospitals, he noticed there were a number of plaques honouring people who have contributed to local healthcare.

Get your February 22, 2017 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full article.