Even though her father had heart disease, Yvonne Osborn couldn’t imagine the same was happening to her at only 35 years old. When the chest pains began on a vacation in Las Vegas, Ms. Osborn didn’t tell anyone, thinking she was just too young. However, one day at work, the pain became unbearable.
Scared but looking for answers, Ms. Osborn, a resident of Marion, Ohio, visited a doctor in Columbus where she received the terrifying news. A heart catheterization revealed that she had a 90 to 95 percent blockage in several of her arteries. Stents were inserted, but that was just the beginning. Over the next six years, she endured a heart attack, needed a balloon pump, had 27 heart catheterizations with stents and balloon angioplasties, and went through an open-heart surgery called a transmyocardial laser revascularization. Complications from the surgery led to a low point for Ms. Osborn. She continued to have chest pain even after the surgery.
“It felt like I was having a heart attack everyday. I went into a deep, deep depression. After all those surgeries I was still so sick, and I didn’t know what else to do,” she recalls.
However, doing research online, she stumbled across the fact that U.S. News & World Report had ranked Cleveland Clinic No. 1 in heart care for 18 years. Ms. Osborn decided to give it a try, and went to see Leslie Cho, MD, Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Women’s Cardiovascular Center, in April 2008.
She remembers that Dr. Cho could not believe the number of heart catheterizations she had undergone. Dr. Cho told her that she had a blockage in a small vessel that was better treated with medicine than bypass surgery. Ms. Osborn also had a pacemaker implanted in July 2008 by electrophysiologist Thomas Dresing, MD.
“Since then, I’ve gotten my life back. I bought a motorcycle, I danced for the first time in so long, and I got to go see Christmas lights and ice skate at the zoo in Columbus with my family. It brought my confidence level so far back up. Things I haven’t done for so many years, I’m doing again,” she gushes. “I don’t have enough good words in my head to say about Cleveland Clinic. The doctors were so kind and positive with me.”
Today, she is doing well, and is able to work part-time from her home. And Ms. Osborne can’t help but spread her happiness to others. Just last month, her couch was overflowing with gifts for five children she chose to help through the Salvation Army. Armed with clothes, toys and books, she wanted those children to have a beautiful Christmas too.
“My heart might be broken inside, but it’s such a huge heart, and I would help anybody I could,” she says.
If you need more information, contact us, chat online with a nurse or call the Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute Resource & Information Nurse at 216.445.9288 or toll-free at 866.289.6911. We would be happy to help you.
This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.