Kevin Receives an Unexpected Diagnosis at Age 43


“I would have taken a $10,000 bet that I didn’t have heart disease. I came within minutes, hours, days of not being here,” reflects Kevin Lamb, who recently had triple bypass surgery at age 43.

What shocks him is that he had no family history, no pain, no risk factors such as smoking or diabetes or lack of exercise. “Six months before, I had a physical and the doctor said everything looked good.” A little fullness in the chest when he was working hard at the gym led him to ask a physician friend at Good Samaritan Hospital whether he should see a cardiologist.

Within a few days, he had an angiogram that revealed a 95 percent blocked left coronary artery and two other significantly blocked arteries. A family man with two teens and two preteens, Kevin felt frightened and overwhelmed. “This was so not on my radar.” He was referred to Cardiothoracic Surgeon Karen Gersch MD, who explained that she could perform triple bypass surgery with robotic-assisted surgery. Kevin, who works as a surgical device representative, was familiar with robotic surgery and relieved to learn he could have heart surgery without the large open-heart incision down his chest and through his breastbone.

“What was so wonderful was that Dr. Gersch and her team made things very easy. They answered my questions before I asked them. I could not have asked for a better experience from Good Samaritan. Everyone from Admitting to the overnight nurses to the ICU was absolutely wonderful--they were responsive, friendly and knew exactly what they were doing. I walked away thrilled from beginning to end."

Kevin went home three days after surgery, and friends who stopped by his first night home couldn’t believe how good he looked. “Ten days after surgery I was back in the gym and back to work in three weeks. I believe I recovered in as short a time as possible."

Today, he stays active cycling, running and playing recreational soccer. He’s training for a grueling Ironman competition that combines swimming, biking and running.

Realizing that his story could have turned out so differently, Kevin has a mantra: “Minutes. Hours. Days.” It reminds him “to seek out the best of every moment. I used to let things bother me, but now I am much more focused on not letting the details in life get under my skin.” He says the experience with his heart has brought his close family even closer. “My wife was a rock, and my kids were supportive.”

And, he’s become a major promoter of Good Samaritan Hospital. When a friend had chest pain during a soccer match in Northern Kentucky, “I was adamant that he go straight up to Good Samaritan, because if something needs to be done for your heart, that’s where you need to be.”

Tags Heart

Last Updated: February 19, 2015