Jim and Nancy’s Story

University Hospitals Helps Couple Who Experienced Same-Day Heart Health Events

Jim and Nancy’s Story

Some long-married couples complete each other’s sentences. Others start to dress alike or look alike. Jim and Nancy Teare had heart health emergencies on the same day.

When Nancy awoke at 3 a.m. to find her husband, Jim, thrashing in bed, her protective instinct kicked in and she called 911. Jim was rushed from the couple’s home in Madison, Ohio, to University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

Jim needed the expertise of cardiovascular specialists and was transported by helicopter to University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Cleveland.

While interventional cardiologist Shyam Bhakta, MD, treated Jim, Nancy began to feel ill. The stress of her husband’s crisis had triggered a mild heart attack in Nancy.

“It’s not highly common, but stress can lead to heart problems, including a heart attack,” said Dr. Bhakta. He emphasizes that heart attacks in women often cause symptoms other than chest pain, including nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, or back or jaw pain.

Tests indicated that spasms of the artery had damaged a small portion of Nancy’s heart. She was treated with medications.

“I hadn’t felt sharp pain, just a strange fluttering feeling,” says Nancy, who was grateful she was in the caring and capable hands of a skilled team that specialized in treating conditions like hers.

Jim’s congestive heart failure, a chronic disease, is treated with medication and checked regularly by his medical team.

The Teares feel fortunate they had a specialized medical team to help them recover from what they now like to think of as a speed bump, in their lives. A trip to Niagara Falls signaled that they are officially back to enjoying life at full speed.

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