Blessed Heart Designs
"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:1
After we were told that Gunnar's double bypass had broken off, in June 2013, he was told to go home, take his medications, and live his life, that's what we attempted to do. So for just about two years he dealt with his daily pain and took his meds and supplements just like he knew he should. We had just finished moving, in June 2015, when he realized that he could no longer take the pain and had to go back to Jupiter Medical Center to have his 9th Heart Cath resulting in stents 12 & 13. His Right Coronary Artery (RCA) had Chronic Total Occlusion which resulted in a procedure known as - Percutaneous Coronary Intervention. This new procedure was performed by Dr. Aggarwahl who is Gunnar's Cardiologist and he is AMAZING!!!
He lasted for another 6 months and then we headed back to Jupiter Medical Center, December 2015, for his 10th Heart Cath – having an angiogram utilizing cutting balloons to clear 89% scar tissue blockage that had occurred in his Right Coronary Artery (RCA). After leaving the hospital, Gunnar was aware that scar tissue could continue to be an issue with his RCA and he would most likely have to have this procedure done again.
Approximately 4 months later he was once again struggling and knew that he needed to go back in to see what was happening. So on April 21, 2016 we went back to Jupiter Medical Center to have his 11th Heart Cath and was notified upon completion that the previous stents in his Right Coronary Artery (RCA) had occluded and now his LAD (Widow maker) had 4 blockages. He was Immediately transported to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center for a Coronary Bypass. We were completely shocked by this news as we thought he would be going in to simply have his RCA cleaned out once again. Unfortunately, there was a much bigger issue that we were dealing with this time.
After arriving at Palm Beach Gardens Hospital on June 21st they had him all hooked up and he was being monitored. There was a sign over his bed stating that his left arm should not be used to take blood from. Dr. Katz (heart surgeon) was going to use a vein from Gunnar's left arm to perform the bypass. The surgery could not be performed until his blood consistency was correct (blood was too thin) so we waited for five days before the Bypass could be performed.
On April 26, 2016 the day had finally arrived. Dr. Katz performed a - Coronary Double Bypass performed of the LAD (Left Ascending Distal) & LMCA (Left Main Coronary Artery). When Dr. Katz came to speak with me, after the surgery, he said that everything went well and that he had to work really hard getting through all of the scar tissue and performing the bypass. In order to do the bypass he used Gunnar's mammory artery and an artery from his left leg. Gunnar left the hospital on Monday, May 2, 2016, and we had a BIG wedding to attend on Saturday, May 7th......our son, Daniel, was getting married! One can only imagine the amount of pressure that was upon us during this time.
Gunnar was able to make it to the wedding and it was beautiful! Since he was still recovering from his surgery, he was unable to stay throughout the entire reception but he made it there and for that we were so grateful. He knew what to expect while recovering from bypass surgery since this was his second time. He went to Cardiac Rehab at Bethesda Hospital and during that time he began to realize that he was unable to lift with his arms. The clicking that is experienced in the chest, after bypass surgery, was not going away and he was having alot of pain around his collar bone area. Because of his past experience with bypass recovery, he knew something else was going on. He began to do his own research and paid attention to what his body was telling him. So his bypass surgery was April 26, 2016 and by the beginning of November Gunnar went to our Primary Physician and said he wanted to have an CT Scan taken of his chest. He believed that his sternum was broken. He could actually feel the space with his fingers. As you can see by the picture on the right, it was definitely split open. We had to find a Thoracic Surgeon and Plastic Surgeon so that the following procedure could be performed on Gunnar to repair him: Sternal Fixation using Titanium Plates with Double Pectoralis Major Flap Reconstruction. This surgery was done on November 23, 2016 at Wellington Regional Hospital the day before Thanksgiving; just seven months after his bypass surgery. In the picture below you can see that he now has all kinds of metal in him along with a total of 69 screws. This was an 8 hour surgery which took alot out of Gunnar. He came home with five drain tubes coming out of his body and a Nurse came daily to drain the tubes and change the dressings on his wounds. What a strong husband I have that he could withstand all that he has gone through and this last surgery was almost more than a person could take. Gunnar and I both know that he is a walking miracle and he is here because of the grace of God.
This journey with Gunnar's heart began in January of 2008 and we were married on June 28, 2008. It is now 2017 and who would have thought that this would be our story. The past 8 almost 9 years have been extremely difficult and challenging, but we know that without God they would have been IMPOSSIBLE!
Remember to be an advocate for your own health and take charge of what is happening to your body. You must share your experiences and the knowledge you have so that others will know and learn. "Share what you know so that others will grow".
Cindy & Gunnar