Baxter: Heart surgery saved my life

Published 8:04 pm Friday, February 14, 2014

On a Tuesday morning in June of 2012, Stan Baxter was having breakfast at a local restaurant. He began to feel flushed. He got up and began to make his way to the door.

“Before I could make it outside, I became very weak and couldn’t stand,” Baxter said.

Baxter was transported to the local hospital where blood tests were done.

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“The EKGs were normal but I was admitted to the hospital to be monitored with hourly blood tests and all appeared to be within normal range,” he said. “An appointment was made with my primary physician. He ordered an echo-cardiogram and stress test.”

The stress test revealed a problem. Baxter was sent to a cardiologist in Montgomery.

“A heart catheterization was performed,” Baxter said.

“I had two totally blocked arteries. Surgery was required and done on July 10. After a hospital stay of three days, I returned home.”

Baxter said his recovery has included daily walks, blood pressure and cholesterol medications along with twice-yearly visits to his physician.

Baxter knows that surgery saved his life. He knows that it could have ended differently if it had not been for the advancements made in the treatment of heart disease in recent years.

However, every 33 seconds someone in the United States dies from cardiovascular disease. That’s roughly the equivalent of a Sept. 11-type tragedy repeating itself every 24 hours, 365 days a year.

So there’s still much work to be done.

Baxter encourages everyone to support the Pike County Heart Association’s Heart Walk Tuesday at the Troy Sportsplex.

The Heart Walk begins at 5:30 p.m. and features entertainment, food, door prizes and booths with heart-healthy information and estate planning. And, of course, the Heart Walk is the main event. And, it’s all free.