Jim Wright had an especially sore throat in December 2012. He had visited his physician multiple times about it, but the pain kept recurring over a few weeks. Then, he recalls, "I started getting that really bad sore throat and this time it was a little different. It started hurting in my jaw and down into my shoulders. Both arms started to ache. I knew something was pretty wrong." Jim's wife, Christy, took him to an urgent care clinic close to their home, where the staff sent him immediately to a nearby hospital emergency room. It turns out he had a 100 percent blockage in one of the arteries to his heart.
That agonizing sore throat was actually a symptom of a severe heart attack.
After two stents were inserted on an emergency basis to treat the blockage, the Wrights asked for Jim to be transferred as soon as possible to CHI St. Luke's Health-Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center. "Everybody says if you have a heart problem, you need to go to Baylor St. Luke's," the former construction supervisor explains. The transfer went smoothly and Jim arrived at Baylor St. Luke's at 1 a.m. and was immediately examined by the on-call cardiologist, Jose Diez, MD. Jim raves about Dr. Diez, acclaimed heart specialist, "Just his voice and demeanor literally puts you at ease right off the bat. He's so reassuring," he says. After Dr. Diez ran a number of tests, he determined Jim needed quadruple bypass surgery.
Once Chief of Adult Cardiac Surgery, Joseph Coselli, MD began the open-heart surgery he found Jim's condition was very serious and complicated. "I ended up having a temporary heart pump," Jim says. "And they kept me in a coma for five days until my heart got strong enough. My wife says that during that time it had gotten pretty scary."
Because of the serious condition of his heart and the follow-up treatment required, Jim was an inpatient at Baylor St. Luke's seven times in just about a year and a half. Yet with all Jim's been through, the 64-year-old stresses how much he's appreciated the quality of CHI St. Luke's Health's medical care and the personal qualities of the staff, "You can just tell when people genuinely care and they're not just doing a job. My wife lived at the hospital while I was there, and the way she was treated was amazing. The people are so helpful. From the doctors and the nurses all the way down to the people who come and clean your room."
Jim now reports "I feel good," because of our outstanding care and a healthier diet. "Baylor St. Luke's has made an amazing difference in my life," he declares. "I literally wouldn't be here otherwise. The care was so good that I'm having a really good recovery."
With our loyal partners, Texas Heart® Institute and Baylor College of Medicine, we can be here for patients like Jim during their frightening and truly life-threatening medical crisis. Of course, the generosity of our community and donors helps ensure we can offer the very finest in care and state-of-the-art technology. Together, we can continue to give "a really good recovery" to more profoundly grateful patients, like Jim. With your vital partnership-combined with our expertise and experience-we can help so many here in Greater Houston get and stay healthy.