Polly and Wesley’s Patient Story: Their Journey to Better Health

Wesley and Polly Weatherholtz Polly and Wesley Weatherholtz have always liked to spend time together, whether it’s doing wood-working projects, traveling, or just going for a walk.

Their quality time together was in jeopardy, however, when both developed severe peripheral vascular disease.

While taking her son for a college visit, in North Carolina, Polly, 63, noticed that her legs were cramping and hurting as she walked to the beach. She continued to have problems when she returned home and found that she was out of breath and could barely walk up the stairs. Polly and Wesley's physician in Upper Sandusky referred her to Dr. Gary Ansel at the OhioHealth Advanced Heart & Vascular Center.

Polly had a successful vascular procedure to clear blockages in her leg arteries. Not long after, Wesley, 58, developed symptoms as well. He too saw Dr. Ansel and underwent an outpatient procedure using new technology to open blockages in his leg arteries.

The challenges didn’t end there. Dr. Ansel and his colleagues discovered that both Wesley and Polly had coronary artery disease as well, which required additional treatment. Polly received drug-coated stenting devices to keep her arteries open, while Wesley had coronary bypass surgery.

Wesley and Dr. AnselThe last few years have been challenging for the couple, but they are thankful for the expert and compassionate care they received at OhioHealth, and continue to travel to Columbus for follow-up care.

Today, Polly and Wesley try to eat right, stay active and live well.

"We really appreciate OhioHealth for helping us," Polly says. "They went above and beyond. We wouldn't be here today if it weren’t for them."

Learn more about innovative peripheral vascular disease treatment at OhioHealth.

Gila’s Patient Story: WE Are Working to Fix the Broken Hearts in Gila’s Family

Gila SmithGila Smith had lost 100 pounds, was pursuing a career in forensics and "running circles around the guys" at the police academy where she began training for her new career path.

Then everything changed. Gila, 52, woke up one night and knew something was wrong.  She was unable to breathe well, and felt a gurgling sensation in her chest. After an initial diagnosis of pneumonia, Gila went back to the hospital, where additional tests revealed that she suffered from congestive heart failure.

At that moment, her life changed completely. She had to quit the academy and find a job that wasn’t so demanding on her body. And she was referred to the OhioHealth Advanced Heart & Vascular Center to receive expert heart and vascular treatment from Dr. Lee Jordan and his colleagues.

During the course of her treatment, Gila came to learn that heart failure runs in her family. Her maternal aunt had congestive heart failure, and her grandmother died from the condition at age 42.

Gila didn't know she was at risk for congestive heart failure. She took care of herself, lost weight and didn't smoke or drink. In the course of her journey with heart failure she learned, "It can happen to anyone."

Gila looks at her 5-year-old granddaughter and hopes that the genetic information and expert care she received at OhioHealth will make a difference in her life and those of others.

Read more about OhioHealth’s comprehensive heart failure services.

Michael’s Patient Story: A New Treatment, A Better Life

Michael Friedman For nearly 30 years, 79-year-old Michael Friedman had been taking the same medications to treat his high blood pressure. After seeing several doctors and receiving the same treatment, he began to think something more could be done.

When he starting losing friends to illness, he became more convinced that he needed to give himself a better chance at a long, healthy life.

So when Michael saw an ad for a new hypertension clinical trial at OhioHealth, he wanted to learn more. He called the number in the ad --  and is happy he did.

At the OhioHealth Advanced Heart & Vascular Center, Michael met with Dr. Daniel Roncone and his team, who came to more thoroughly understand Michael’s health situation and explained how advances in medicine could provide better treatment.

They also did an imaging test that revealed a problem with blood flow, which explained why some of Michael's medications weren't working as they should.

After changes in his medication and treatment plan, Michael notices the improvement. He is sleeping better and feeling more active, riding his bicycle and square dancing two or three nights a week.

Michael is extremely pleased with the care he’s received at OhioHealth. "I feel great, so much better than before."

"They've made a change, compared to the other places I've been. They were more in tune to me as a patient and as a person. I couldn't put them on a higher pedestal."

Learn more about the Advanced Heart & Vascular Center’s patient-centered care.

Eileen's Patient Story: No Longer Watching from the Sidelines

Eileen MooreFor Eileen Moore, life was becoming harder and harder to live.

The 88-year-old Mt. Vernon, Ohio native suffered from severe aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the aortic valve. "I was very weak, dizzy and always short of breath, which made it impossible to do the simplest things, like cooking," she recalls. Without treatment, her prognosis was grim.

Her treatment options were limited because she - like many who share her condition - was not considered a good candidate for open-heart valve replacement surgery.

With the help of her son, Gary, Eileen learned about a clinical trial that was evaluating a non-surgical alternative.  After talking to the best hospitals in Cleveland and Columbus, Eileen and Gary decided that OhioHealth's Riverside Methodist Hospital was the best choice.

Less than four days after having her transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), she knew she had made the right choice. "I felt like doing somersaults!"

OhioHealth was the first in Ohio to undertake this groundbreaking heart disease trial. For Eileen, the leading-edge research, expert physicians and experienced support staff have given her a new lease on life.

"Before the surgery, I would have been watching life from the sidelines. I have been feeling so much better – it is a blessing!"

Learn more abut OhioHealth’s non-surgical treatments for valve disease.