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It all started seven or eight years ago when Victor Patton, 58, of Plainfield was playing basketball with his son and his son’s friend.
“I was feeling short of breath and had minor chest discomfort. It was wintertime and I figured the reason I had pain in my chest was because I was dressed warmly and out of shape,” he says.
The memory of playing with his son was the first time Patton realized there might be something wrong with his health.
“When I brought it to my doctor’s attention, he found a heart valve defect. I only have two heart leaflets, while most people have three,” he says. “My physician said it wasn’t detrimental and I could lead a normal life, but my valve would wear out quicker than an average person.”
Knowing it would one day need to be corrected, Patton continued to be active; often cycling and enjoying sports, but his symptoms continued and became more frequent.
“If I had chest pain or felt short of breath, I limited myself,” he says. “I stopped doing anything that would give me problems,” he adds.
It wasn’t until the fall of 2021 when Patton was preparing to travel that he had three bouts of chest pain in one day. With encouragement from his nurse wife Melanie, he visited the Emergency Room at Edward Hospital. Within a few days, he was scheduled for open heart surgery.
Edward Hospital cardiothoracic surgeon Bryan K. Foy, M.D., informed Patton that only a pinhole of blood flow was reaching his heart.
“It was a shock. I think I was too ignorant to understand how bad it was. I knew I’d have surgery one day, but not to this extent,” Patton says.
“Dr. Foy said if I would have actually had a heart attack, I never would have made it.”
Post-surgery and virtual cardiac rehabilitation
Patton underwent successful valve replacement and double bypass. His recovery began, but it did not include traditional in-hospital cardiac rehab that most patients expect.
Thanks to a partnership between Edward-Elmhurst Health and Moving Analytics, a telehealth provider of cardiovascular prevention programs, Patton was able to complete his cardiac rehab virtually.
“When it was mentioned to me that virtual rehabilitation would be my treatment plan, I thought it would work out well since I would not have to travel,” he says.
Moving Analytics sent Patton a smart watch to wear 24 hours a day, a scale and a blood pressure machine.
The results from the blood pressure machine and scale would automatically be sent to Moving Analytics, while the watch automatically tracked his heart rate, activity length and intensity. All Patton would need to do is record the type of exercise on the watch.
“Moving Analytics has a direct link to my care manager. My care manager is able to share all of my vitals with the team at Edward Hospital, so I don’t need to visit Edward for cardiac rehab,” Patton says.
The app on his phone also helps Patton manage his blood sugar by sending him alerts if his sugar level is too high or too low. It also reminds him to take his medications.
“Nothing gets missed, even on the weekends when the Moving Analytics office isn’t open, they are monitoring my information, asking me questions and responding to me.”
Since he is not traveling for cardiac rehabilitation, Patton is able to continue to social distance and reduce his exposure to other illnesses.
“Because of COVID-19 and my preexisting medical conditions, I didn’t want to visit a rehab facility. I avoid flying for work and I rarely travel anywhere that has a lot of people,” he says.
Moving Analytics has run so smoothly for him, Patton did not realize until recently that he is the first patient at Edward Hospital to complete the program.
“I thought the whole industry had gone toward virtual cardiac rehab,” he says. “Everything has been regimented.”
Patton looks forward in continuing to use the watch and application to maintain his lifestyle. He attributes his care at Edward Hospital, the Moving Analytics program and his wife for his success.
“My wife has been heavily involved throughout all of this. She has spent so much time by helping me check my nutrition and my medications. She’s been the best patient advocate I could ask for,” he says.
To schedule a cardiac rehab appointment at Edward Hospital, call 630-527-3388; at Elmhurst Hospital, call 331-221-6060. Learn more about cardiac rehab.
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