photo: A special surprise presentation was held at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center where heart-attack survivor Jack Harting and his wife Gayla presented Jon Williams (center) with Guardian Angel wings.
In the United States, every year about 600,000 people die of heart disease, that is 1 in every 4 deaths. According to the American Heart Association, over 7 million Americans have suffered a heart attack. These numbers are scary, so what can you do to beat the numbers?
There are “risk factors” for heart disease; some risk factors are under your control and some are not. Those which are uncontrollable are being male, older, having a family history of heart disease, post-menopausal, and race. African Americans, American Indians, and Mexican Americans are more likely to have heart disease than Caucasians.
Controllable risk factors are the area of focus. By making lifestyle changes, you can actually reduce your risk for heart disease. Some things you can do to lower your risk of heart disease are: quite smoking, improve your cholesterol levels (high or “bad” LDL cholesterol and low or “good” HDL cholesterol), control high blood pressure and diabetes, only drink alcohol in moderation, get active, eat right, maintain a healthy weight and control stress and anger.
When it comes to issues of the heart, you deserve the very best care and treatment. Jack and Gayla Harting know this first hand. Years before Jack had a heart attack and beat the numbers. Roll forward about ten years; Jack was feeling fatigued and knew he needed to see a cardiologist for an exam. Dr. Haseeb recommended a full work up. Jack suffered a heart attack after a stress test. It could have happened at any time, but Jack and Gayla thank God it happened in the doctor’s office and near Good Samaritan Regional Health Center.
Gayla states, “He was rushed here (to Good Samaritan Regional Health Center) by ambulance and my world could have been shattered.” Harting continues, “Without your doctors, your Cath Lab, your team, this entire department, I would not have my husband.”
The Hartings are making changes to reduce their heart disease risk factors. Eating healthier foods is one of those changes. Gayla states in her lighthearted positive fashion, “Little Debbie has moved out and Mrs. Dash has moved in.”
A special surprise presentation was held at Good Samaritan Regional Health Center where the Hartings conveyed their thanks and presented Jon Williams with Guardian Angel wings. Gayla expressed special thanks to Jon Williams, an employee of the Catheterization Lab.
She states, “God put a very special person in my path …. I just cannot come up with enough good things to say about him. The one thing that I can compare his kindness to is that I felt like I had a "Brother" with me that day. You see, I have a brother and I ADORE him. He's my little brother (by age, not size) and that day I had a big brother (by size, not age). The ironic thing is that they are both named John.”
With a heart attack, time is very important. During the procedure to save Jacks life, he was also concerned about Gayla, “While everything was going on with me, Jon would let me know that Gayla was there, that he was checking on her and that she was doing OK”. This was a relief for Jack. “When everything calmed down and I could see Gayla, she told me just how wonderful Jon had been to her. As a husband, that means a lot to me knowing that someone was there for her too.”
Gayla continued in her presentation, “Jon Williams, you were a blessing from God to me that day. You are a Guardian Angel. You were so kind to me and my family. All while also taking care of Jack. I am telling you, there are just not enough words to explain my appreciation, respect and gratitude that I have for you.”
Guardian Angel is a program of the Good Samaritan Regional Health Center Foundation where patients and families can recognize staff. The Guardian Angel Program is a meaningful way to honor and show appreciation to a caregiver or staff member.
When it comes to issues of the heart, you deserve the very best care and treatment. Take control of your health and beat the numbers, speak with your physician about your risk factors.