I wouldn’t be here without them.
Tim Capps won’t forget that night, a few years ago, when he was playing basketball in South Haven with a few friends for their weekly pick-up game. There came a moment when he felt a strange sensation; suddenly he found himself in a situation that was both unfamiliar and frightening. “As soon as I realized I was having a heart attack, the guys called an ambulance and I was rushed to the hospital in South Haven.” Dr. Paul Wahby provided fast, quick care. Within moments, a helicopter was on its way to transport Tim to Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo. “Thanks to the quick responses and good care, I had no damage – zero percent – to my heart tissue.” Tim had a stent placed, committed himself to a new lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise, and proceeded to drop from 230 to 174 pounds.
Tim admits that, over time, he fell back into old habits and became a bit complacent. “Well, I began slacking off,” he says. “I regained some weight, and I was exercising pretty sporadically.” Last fall, Tim was driving home to South Haven from Benton Harbor one evening, when he began to feel sensations in his chest that reminded him of that night on the basketball court. “Fortunately I carry nitro-glycerin. I took a dose, and I headed straight to the [Bronson South Haven] emergency department.”
Tim was met at the door by Weston Orrico. “He looked me in the eye, guided me into an exam room, and from the moment he focused on me, my anxiety began to lessen. Not only was he clearly smart and professional, but his presence was reassuring, and he exuded kindness. It felt like every fiber in his being was focused on me and my health. “
Fortunately, Tim did not have a heart attack, but he was kept overnight for observation and was seen in the morning by Dr. Brian Akrami, the cardiologist in South Haven. “Dr. Akrami has a bedside manner that is impeccable. He spent a great deal of time with me, ran some stress tests and assured me that I had avoided another heart attack. But it was the wake-up call I needed.”
Tim is back to his healthy eating plan and his exercise regimen. He works out regularly at the Bronson Wellness Center in South Haven and sometimes runs into a few of the folks who cared for him. “I’ve said thank you to some of them privately, but I wanted to say thank you publicly. Without a doubt, the care, service and love I felt from every single person I encountered – from the physicians and nurses, to the people who delivered my meals and emptied my trash – was remarkable, and I wouldn’t be here without them. Thank you.”