A Sure Sign
Physicians: Jerome Kuhnlein, MD; Jonathan Osburn, MD; Monika Riedel, NP
Riley Raines healthcare journey, which led him to the certified Chest Pain Center at Lakeland Health, began with his primary care provider, Jonathan Osburn, MD. At an annual physical Dr. Osburn noticed Riley’s heart sounded a bit abnormal and decided to begin monitoring it. After two years, he referred Riley to local cardiologist, Jerome Kuhnlein, MD, who performed a series of tests on his heart including an angiogram – an X-ray which helps identify blockages in the atrial system.
The results of the test were more serious than Riley would have ever guessed. He learned that three of his arteries were partially blocked, including his left anterior descending artery which is often referred to as the “widowmaker” due to the high risk of death. His aortic valve, which assists in pumping blood to the rest of the body, also only had two leaflets, likely due to a birth defect, and would need to be replaced.
“Shortly after I received this news, Dr. Kuhnlein introduced me to [now retired cardiothoracic] surgeon, Sam Durham, MD,” said Riley. “I was very impressed with what he had to say and I felt very confident that he would take good care of me.”
Due to a cancellation in the surgeon’s schedule there was an opening for surgery the following week – Riley took this as a sign.
“I committed without hesitation to the surgery,” said Riley. “I felt very confident that this was who was meant to be my heart doctor.”
After a four-and-a-half-hour procedure, Riley spent the next few days in the hospital. His care team was impressed with how quickly he recovered as he was up and walking the day after surgery.
“If I could have personally hand-picked every caregiver, I couldn’t have picked anyone better,” said Riley. “I was very impressed with how professional, compassionate, and caring they were – everyone was exceptional.”
One member of his care team, hospitalist, Monika Riedel, NP, sticks out most in Riley’s mind due to a simple interaction they had during his stay.
“When Monika picked up my hand and told me with confidence ‘everything is going to be alright, we’re going to take good care of you,’ it really meant a lot,” said Riley. “If you’ve never had a best friend and you meet Monica, she becomes your very best friend.”
Riley continued to progress and was able to return home a few days earlier than expected where he met with Lakeland Homecare nurses. He continues to remain active – walking 30 to 40 minutes every other day – and will soon begin cardiac rehabilitation.
“Before the procedure my heart rate was in the 50s and the day after surgery it had almost doubled and was in the 90s,” said Riley. “It made quite a difference because I could actually feel my pulse in my whole body – I didn’t realize how bad it was.”
Once he’s received the okay from Dr. Kuhnlein, Riley plans to return to work as a hairdresser. In this role, he meets many different people on a daily basis which has provided him the opportunity to share his story.
“I was 100 percent satisfied with my entire care team – there isn’t anything I would have changed,” said Riley. “It’s easy for me to recommend Lakeland to others for a heart procedure.”
Hear more from Riley in the video below: