(Pictured from left to right) Kristin, Dr. Yarlagadda, Barbara, Dr. Meurer and Holly reunite four months after Holly's heart attack.
Life is precious. Holly Menning, Kristin Corey and Barbara Sweazy can tell you that firsthand. And they're especially grateful for the cardiologists at Olathe Medical Center who changed each one of their lives.
Many people who have experienced heart complications will tell you the symptoms hit you at an unexpected time. For Kristin Corey, it was at her sister's house in 2014. For her mother, Barbara Sweazy, it was when she had returned home from watching an opera. For Kristin's daughter, Holly Menning, it was while she was preparing dinner for her family. One thing they all knew they could expect: life-saving care at Olathe Medical Center.
Their connection with cardiology services began in 2014. Kristin (Kris) Corey was at her sister's house when suddenly she felt weak, as though the blood was draining from her body. Her sister rushed her to the Olathe Medical Center ER, and she was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, a fast and abnormal pattern of contractions in the upper part of the heart. She was referred to Dr. Ravi Yarlagadda, an electrophysiologist with Olathe Health Cardiology Services.
"When I first met Kris, she was having palpitations from atrial fibrillation on an almost weekly basis," Dr. Yarlagadda said. "Medications didn't really help alleviate it, so I suggested cryoablation, a minimally invasive procedure used to restore a patient's normal heart rhythm."
Kris was nervous about the procedure, so she attended a seminar presented by Dr. Yarlagadda about cryoablation. She decided to put it off a little longer. That's when she had another episode – this time at the airport, and it was more severe. She called the cardiology office and a doctor immediately told her how to manage her atrial fibrillation episode. When she returned from vacation, she scheduled her cryoablation appointment.
"I had the best recovery, and I have not had one episode of atrial fibrillation since then," Kris said. "I'm healed and whole, and it's because of Dr. Yarlagadda, and I'm very grateful for him."
Kris felt so good after her cryoablation, she decided her mom might need it too. Her 82-year-old mom, Barbara Sweazy, had been experiencing heart palpitations for more than 20 years. Dr. Yarlagadda implanted a cardiac monitor in Barbara to learn more about her heart arrhythmia.
In 2017, Barbara had just returned home from an opera at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. She crawled into bed and woke up hours later on the floor of her bathroom with a broken wrist and no idea how she had ended up there. Her daughter rushed her to the Olathe Medical Center ER.
The cardiac monitor showed that her heart had stopped three times while she was on the bathroom floor. Dr. Yarlagadda implanted a pacemaker and eight months later, performed a cryoablation on Barbara.
"She just flew through the procedure," Dr. Yarlagadda said. "Typically we keep patients overnight following a cryoablation, but Barbara recovered so well, I let her go home the same day. And she has not had a problem since then."
"I have a lot of faith in Dr. Yarlagadda, and I'm so glad we have a hospital like Olathe Medical Center here," Barbara said. "I've always had excellent care, and the doctors are amazing."
The most unexpected event came in 2018. Holly Menning, 40, granddaughter of Barbara and daughter of Kris, had a rare and life-threatening heart attack. While cooking dinner for her husband and two daughters, she was overwhelmed by a burning sensation in her chest. She was rushed to the Olathe Medical Center ER, and doctors diagnosed her with a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD).
Cardiothoracic surgeon Michael Meurer, MD, with Olathe Health Kansas Heart and Lung Surgeons, performed a two-vessel bypass on Holly. She recovered without any complications. And although it will take her awhile to get back to her normal energy level, she is home and healthy because of the physicians and nurses at Olathe Medical Center. (Read all of Holly's story here.)
"It's a whole package wrapped up in a miracle, and Olathe Medical Center had a lot to do with it," Kris said.
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