Even Heart Surgery Doesn't Slow Down Barbara Medley

When some people reach sixty, they start to slow down. Not Barbara Medley. She met the milestone feeling upbeat and energetic. Even knee surgery didn’t keep her down. Until something changed. Weeks after the surgery Barbara felt rundown for no apparent reason. “I blamed it on the knee,” she says. But when chest pains began, she wondered if something else was wrong.

She was right. A stress test and follow-up x-rays at Mercy Hospital in Fairfield revealed a blocked artery. Doctors there referred her to J. Michael Smith MD at Good Samaritan for robotic-assisted surgery. They told her the procedure would be less traumatic, and its recovery quicker, than opening her chest.

“It was amazing. Dr. Smith replaced an artery in my heart while sitting 40 feet away from me at a control panel -- like he was playing a game of Pac Man!” Three tiny incisions were all that was needed for the procedure that took less than an hour to complete. Her husband, Michael, thought something was wrong when Barbara was brought to her room so soon after the surgery began. “He couldn’t believe how fast it went,” says Barbara.

Four days later Barbara was back home in Fairfield. Other than some soreness, she felt great. Within weeks she was back to her usual morning routine: making Michael’s breakfast, packing his lunch, dishes, laundry, dusting and mopping. “I’m always piddling, can’t keep still,” she laughs. At cardiac rehab Barbara has learned to make small changes to keep her heart healthy, and she has no plans to slow down.

Tags Heart